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Old Kingdom of Elmet: 
York and the Ainsty District: 

A Descriptive Sketch of the 
History, Antiquities, Legendary Lore, 
Picturesque Features, and 
Rare Architecture. 




A Thousand Ailes in Wharfedale," 
Edenvale to the Plain of York," 
The Border Country and Lakeland, 


LONDON: John Heywood, 29 & 30, Shoe Lane, E.C. 
MANCHESTER: John Heywood, Deansgate. 
YORK: John Sampson, Coney Street. 
LEEDS: James Miles, Guildford Street. 

Entered at Stationers' Hall. All rights reserved. 




For thirty years and more, and long before I acquired any knowledge on 
the subject, the very name of Elmet seemed to have something magnetic 
in its sound. And in due time it became incumbent upon me to put into 
book form the ideas and information which I had gained. The story of the 
Kingdom has been gradually acquired, and the structure built up little 
by little, after long study and repeated visits to the district extending 
over several years, and the gathering and piecing together of the frag- 
mentary shreds of history. This knowledge cannot be obtained from 
books, for the best authorities on " North-Humberland History" give only 
vague references to this old principality. From Bede's time (our first 
authority) nearly every writer on the subject has trodden in his prede- 
cessor's footsteps, without attempting to pierce the veil of mystery and 
silence overshadowing Elmet. I admit the scantiness of the material to 
be relied upon with absolute certainty ; yet the theme is one of absorbing 
interest, and particularly so to those dwelling in Elmet. In its nomen- 
clature, revealed in the names of its towns, rivers, hills, and prominent 
crags, still lingers the memory of a people — the Celts — whose kingdom 
was Elmet. Centuries before any historic record, the wolds of Elmet 
and the district around the lower reaches of the rivers Aire, Wharfe, and 
Nidd were the stronghold of a dominant or ruling class. The author 
is painfully conscious of his shortcomings in regard to the work, and is 
also aware that the subject, as portrayed in the following pages, is not 
in any way complete. Probably it will be the means of destroying a 
fallacy which I have repeatedly heard expressed, namely, that all the historic 
records concerning the Kingdom of Elmet could be told on a sheet of note- 
paper. I trust some abler pen will continue the work of restoring Elmet to 


IV. . . 

its position and dignity in history — an independent state which retained its 
integrity long after others had fallen under the iron heel of the 
invader. I hope the critic will pardon what he may consider the over- 
flnent description and occasional ' abandon ' to be found scattered through 
the pages of the book — purely a labour of love — the outcome of that 
sense of joyfulness and freedom from restraint which is peculiar to the 
heart of a born rambler. 

I am greatly indebted to the following gentlemen : — To G. T. Lowe 
for his kindness in providing maps and plans, specially drawn by him 
for this work; to Dr. Arnold Lees for his chapter on the Wild Flowers 
of Elmet, etc. ; to William Wheater for his valuable notes and sugges- 
tions on the subject ; to John Hamilton, Charles Richardson, and Rudolph 
Radestock, for many acts of kindness in the furtherance of the task; 
to George Fowler Jones, F.R.I.B.A., for the use of several photographs ; 
and to Sir Clement Markham's Histories of the Fairfaxes, for information 
concerning that family. 



November, 1902. 

Index to Illustrations. 


2 Fossil 













Remains of Gigantic Animals found in Aire Valley (Zoological 

Section Leeds Philosophical Hall) .... 

Ditto . . . . . . . 

Stone Implements of Warfare, Elmet . 

Flint Arrow Heads, Adel ...... 

Devil's Arrows, Boroughbridge .... Percy Robinson. 

Bronze Weapons, Elmet 

Tesselated Pavement, Aldborough v . •• . . S. Wagstaff. 

Roman Milestone, Castleford ...... 

Plan of Earthworks, Barwick-in-Elmet . . . . G. T. Lowe. 

Hall Tower Hill, Barwick-in-Elmet . . . . G. T. Lowe. 

Map of Roman Roads . . . . . . G. T. Lowe. 

Roman Altars . . . . • . 

Section of Roman Road, Aberford .... Owen Boiven. 

Line of Roman Road, Aldwoodle}' .... Owen Bowen. 

Roman and Saxon Relics, Adel . . . . A. Sutton. 

Sepulchral Tablets, York . .... A. Sutton. 

Roman Altars, York . . . . . A. Sutton. 

Ancient Coffins, Adel and York . . . . . A. Sutton. 

Saxon Crosses, Otley . . . . . A. Haselgrave. 

The llkley Crosses . . . . . . Percy Robinson. 

Norse Cross, Leeds Parish Church .... Percy Robinson. 

Anglo- Danish Cross, Grimston . . . . . E. Bogg. 

Pre-Norman Arch, Godmudham . . . . E. Bogg. 

Relics, Adel . . . . . . A. Sutton. 

Ground Plan, Potterton . . . . . . G. T. Lowe. 

Kneeling Cross, Ripley ..... Percy Robinson. 

Kirkstall Abbey . . . . . . . S. Wagstaj}. 

Kirkstall Abbey ...... S. Wagstafi. 

Milestone, Black Hill . . . . . A. Sutton. 

Ravine, Eccup ....... A. Sutton. 

Aldwoodley Hall . . . . . . A. Sutton. 

The Mill House, Adel . . . . . . A. Sutton. 

Norman Doorwaj-, Adel . . . .''... Percy Robinson. 

Corbel Ornaments and Door Knocker, Adel A. Sutton. 

Adel Church . . . . . . . 5. Wagstaff. 

Milestone, Aldwoodley . . . . . A. Sutton. 



65 Sandy Rock, Adel Beck „ , , 


66 Old Tap, Meanwood Hill Top .... 

A. Sutton. 

68 Shire Oak, Headingley (200 years ago) 

From an Old Drawing 

69 Shire Oak, 1902 ..... 

Owen Bowen. 

70 Burley Grove ..... 

Percy Robinson. 

72 Tudor Framework, Rockley Hall 


74 Map of Elmet and Ainsty Country . 

. G. T. Lowe. 

76 Leeds Parish Church ..... 

Albert Bottomley. 

yj Arms of Mowbray and Howard, from oaken beam in old house, 

Swi negate 5. IV. 

78 Templar Crosses in Leeds .... 

Sam Harrison. 

80 Bit of Old Briggate . ... 

E. Bogg. 

81 Relic of Lands Lane . . . . 

Percy Teasdale. 

82 Pack Horse, Briggate . 

A. Sutton. 

83 Old Green Dragon, Guildford Street 

. Percy Robinson. 

85 Old Hall Hotel .... 

A. Sutton. 

87 St. John's Church ..... 

A. Sutton. 

88 Red Hall ...... 

A. Sutton. 

90 Town Hall, from Guildford Street 

Owen Boiven. 

91 Chapeltown . , 

IV. G. Foster. 

92 A Stretch of Elmet from Roundhay Park 

Owen Bowen. 

95 Ingram Hall 

Percy Robinson. 

96 Foundry Mill ...... 

Gilbert Foster. 

97 Wyke Beck ..... 

E. Bogg. 

98 Wyke Bridge House ..... 


99 Arms in do. ... 

100 Glimpse of Leeds from Halton .... 

Gilbert Foster. 

102 Evening Scene, Whitkirk . 

Gilbert Foster. 

103 Osmondthorpe ...... 


104 Ivy House, York Road .... 

Thos. Dawson. 

105 Old Hall, Kuostrop ..... 

William Jones. 

106 The Pleasance, do. .... 

Louis G rims haw. 

108 Thorp Stapleton ..... 

Alfred Bottomley. 

no Templenewsam ..... 

Gilbert Foster. 

112 Arms of Ingram and Slingsby .... 

S. Harrison. 

114 Whitkirk, from Colton .... 

Gilbert Foster. 

116 Whitkirk Church ..... 

Gilbert Foster. 

117 Old Barrowby . . 

W. Jones. 

118 Swillington ...... 

Gilbert Foster. 

119 Garforth Cliff ... 

Percy Teasdale. 

121 Kippax, from Great Preston .... 

Gilbert Foster. 

122 Plan of Mound, Kippax .... 

. P. Robinson. 

123 Remains of Cross, Kippax .... 


124 The Almshouses, Kippax .... 

E. Bogg. 

127 Old Parish Church, Castleford . ... 

A. Sutton. 

128 Ledston Hall .... 

. . E. Bogg. 

130 Norman Doorway and Font, Ledsham 

E. Bogg. 

131 Springtime, Ledsham .... 

Gilbert Foster. 

132 Micklefield ...... 

Frank Dean. 



133 Gar forth . 

137 Manston Hall .... 

140 Street Scene, Barwick 

143 Hall Tower Hill and Wendal, from Raikes Beck, 

144 Trench, south side of Hall Tower Hill 

145 Street Scene, Barwick . 

147 Church, Barwick .... 

148 Crosses in Barwick Church 

150 Barwick, View of, from the East 

151 Kiddal Hall 
154 Cuckoo in Titlark's Nest, Scholes 

156 View of Barwick, from Cock Beck 

157 Avenue, Aberford . 

158 View, Aberford 

159 Sammy Hick's Anvil 

161 Parlington Park 

162 Aberford, View of . 

163 The Old Windmill, Aberford 
161 Entrenchments, Aberford 
165 A Rustic Corner 

167 Old Belfry, Lotherton 

168 Interior Lotherton Chapel 

169 Norman Doorway, Lothertoi 

170 Lead Church 

171 Interior do. 

172 A Peep of Hazel wood 

173 Hazelwood Castle . 

174 Chapel, Hazelwood 

181 Towtou Battlefield 

182 Ditto, from Saxton, looking over the Battlefield 

183 Towton Bridge, corner of Renshaw Wood 
186 Renshaw Woodside 

188 Lord Dacre's Tomb, Saxton Churchyard 

190 The Dacres Tomb, Lanercost Priory 

191 Lord Dacre's Cross, Towton . 

193 A Peep of Saxton from Dintingdale 

195 Sherburn, from the North . 

199 Sherburn Church 

200 Ditto .... 

201 Norman Nave, Sherburn Church 

203 Janus Cross ditto 

204 Huddleston, from the Moat 

205 Huddleston Quarry .... 

207 Gateway, Steeton 

208 Steeton Hall, showing part Janus Cross 
210 Barkston Ash .... 

212 Fentou Church, from the North 

213 Ditto from the South . 


Gilbert Foster. 

A. Sutton. 

W. Jones. 


Gilbert Foster. 

E. Bogg. 

. W. Jones. 

. G. F. Jones. 

E. Bogg. 

A. Haselgrave. 

A. Haselgrave. 


E. Bogg. 

Gilbert Foster. 

A. Haselgrave. 

IV. Jones. 

Gilbert Foster. 

. Fra?ik Dean. 

W. Jones. 

. G. T. Lowe. 

S. IVagstaff. 

W. Jones. 

S. Wagstaff. 

E. Bogg. 

E. Bogg. 

A. Sutton. 

Frank Dean. 

G. IV. Preston. 

. Percy Robinson. 

. Frank Dean. 

Frank Dean. 

. Frank Dean. 

Frank Dean. 

E. Bogg. 

E. Bogg. 

. Frank Dean. 

Gilbert Foster. 

. Frank Dean. 

S. W. 

W. Jones. 

G. F. Jones. 

. G. F. Jones. 

Frank Dean. 

. Frank Dea?i. 

G. F. Jones. 

. G. F.Jones. 

Frank Dean. 

E. Bogg. 

A. Sutton. 














Vine Cottage, Church Fenton 

Gateway, Cawood 

A Bit of Cawood from the Bridge . 

A Window in Farmyard 

Cawood Castle Gateway, from the South 

Ditto from the River . 


Street View .... 
Old Font in Hospital Garden 
Cawood Church 
Wistow Church 
Tablet do. 

West Doorway, Selby Abbey 
The Choir, Selby Abbey 
A Bend of the Ouse at Cawood 
The Ouse, near Riccall . 
Tombs, Ryther Church 
Ditto, before the Restoration 
Chancel Arch and Hagioscope . 
The Ferry, Ryther 
A Bend of the Wharfe at Ulleskelf 
Grimston and Kirkby Wharfe 
The Church Tower, Kirkby Wharfe 
Ancient Cross, Kirkby Wharfe 
A Peep of Tadcaster Church from the Ainsty 
A Reach of the Wharfe, near Tadcaster 
Gateway, Steeton Hall . 
Tithe Barn, Bolton Percy . 
A Rustic Scene, Bolton Percy . 
Bolton Percy Church, North- East . 
From the Willow Holt, South- West 
A Rustic Corner 
The Old Footbridge 
Letter-Box Oak, Appleton . 
Nun Appleton, from the River . 
Nun Appleton, from the Park 
A Story of Nun Appleton 
Plan of Brocket Hall 
A Relic of Old Appleton 
The Green, Stillingfleet 
Norman Porch, Stillingfleet 
Moreby Chapel, Stillingfleet Church 
The Effigy of a Malbis, within the Church, Acaster 
The Palace, Bishopthorpe . 

A Reach of the Ouse .... 
City of York, from Heslington Road 
West Front, York Minster 
The Chapel of Our Ladye . 

E. Bogg. 
Albert Haselgrave. 
S. IV. 
G. T. L. 
W. Jones. 
Frank Dean. 
E. Bogg. 
S. W. 
E. Bogg. 
A. Sutton. 
. Frank Dean. 
S. Harrison. 
. G. F. Jones. 
Valentine df Sons, Dundee. 
E. Bogg. 
Frank Dean. 
W. Jones. 
J. Man ham. 
E. Bogg. 
E. Bogg. 
Gilbert Foster. 
Gilbert Foster. 
J. Manham. 
E. Bogg. 
A. Haselgrave. 
E. Bogg. 
E. Bogg. 
. J. Manham. 
Gilbert Foster. 
E. Bogg. 
Gilbert Foster. 
. J. Manham. 
A. Haselgrave. 
E. Bogg. 
A. Haselgrave. 
Gilbert Foster. 
A. Sutton. 
A. Haselgrave. 
. Frank Dean. 
A. Haselgrave. 
. S. Harrison. 
. Hirst. 
Frank Dean. 
S. Harrison. 
Gilbert Foster. 
By permission of Arthur Lucas. 
. S. Harrison. 



315 The Choir - 

317 From the Chapter House 

318 Chair of St. Paulinus aiid the Horn of Ulphas 

319 From Vestibule of Chapter House . 

320 College Street, York 

321 Holy Trinity, Goodramgate 

322 Ditto Interior . 

323 St. William's College 

324 The Treasurer's House . 

325 Bootham Bar .... 

327 The Banks of the Ouse 

328 St. Mary's Abbey . 

329 St. Mary's .... 

330 Doorway, King's Manor 
332 A Peep of the City from the Ouse 

334 A Representation of the Trinity in St. John 

335 Micklegate .... 

337 Stonegate . . . 

338 "Plumbers' Arms," Skeldergate . 
342 Micklegate Bar 
344 The Railway Station 
346 Norman Porch, St. Lawrence 

348 St. Margaret's .... 

349 Norman Porch of St. Dennis 

350 The ''Black Swan," Peasholm . 

351 College Street 

352 York, from Heworth Green 

353 Finkle Street 

354 Cathedral and the Deanery Grounds, from the City Walls 

356 The Hall of the Merchant Adventurers 

357 Chapel do. do. 

358 Jubbergate 

360 The Shambles .... 

362 A Quaint Corner 

364 All Saints' Pavement 

365 A Length of the Ouse 

368 A View of York from the Ainsty Ridge . 

369 Antique Window, Askham Bryan 

370 The Porch, Askham Bryan Church 

371 Fragment of Jacobean Hall, Bilbrough 

372 The Norton Chapel and Burial-place of the Fairfaxes 
374 Fairfax Tomb 
376 Fairfax Chair and Relics 

379 A Village Scene, Helaugh . 

380 Crosses, Hartlepool and Helaugh 

381 A Peep of Helaugh Church 

382 Norman Doorwa}', Helaugh Church 
384 Lord Wharton's Tomb, Helaugh Church . ; 
386 Lord Wharton's Tomb, Kirkby Stephen Church 
390 Remains of Helaugh Priory 

Valentine & Sons, 

A. Sutton. 

A. Sutton. 

A. Sutton. 

Louis Grimshaiv. 

. G. F. Jones. 

S. Harrison. 

. S. Harrison. 

S. Harrison. 

S. Harrison. 

Gilbert Foster. 

A. Sutton. 

E* Bogg. 

A. Sutton. 

A. Sutton. 

. S. Harrison. 

Gilbert Foster. 

Gilbert Foster. 

A. Sutton. 

Gilbert Foster. 

Percy Robmson. 

G. F. Jones. 

. G. F. Jones. 

A. Sutton. 

. S. Harrison. 

S. Harrison. 

. S. Harrison. 

Gilbert Foster. 

A. Sutton. 

S. Harrison. 

Gilbert Foster. 

G. F. Jones. 

. G. F. Jones. 

S. Harrison. 

. S. Harrison. 

Frank Dean. 

A. Sutton. 

A. Sutton. 

A. Sutton. 

A. Sutton. 

A Haselgrave. 

Gilbert Foster. 

E. Bogg. 

A. Sutton. 

. P. Robinson. 

E Bogg. 

A Sutton. 

E. Bogg. 

E. Bogg. 



Introduction - - - - - i 

Prehistoric Sketch— A Glance Backward. 
Fossil Remains of Gigantic Animals and Reptiles — Stone and Flint Implements 
of Warfare — the Dawn of Civilization. 

Chapter I. - - - - -6 

The Brigantes— their Kingdom and Capital. 

Chapter II. - - - - - 9 

The Invasion of the Romans. 
Boadicea, Queen of the Iceni— Caractacus, Prince of the Silures — His Fight with 
the Romans — Cartismandua, Queen of the Brigantes— Her Betrayal of Carac- 
tacus and Flight — Roman Advance over the Don and Aire — Penetrate through 
the Western Gate of Elmet — Earthworks at Barwick, Becca, and Woodhouse 
Rein, &c, stubbornly defended — The position stormed by Agricola — His 
March on York and Aldborough— Roman Roads in Yorkshire. 

Chapter III. - - - - - 24 

The Kingdom of Elmet. 
Its Boundaries and Natural Barriers— The Invasion and Settlement of Engle-folk 
—Capture of York — Survival of Celtic Place-names — The Liberty of Cawood, 
Wistow, and Otley — Barwick, the Capital of Elmet — A Story of the Yorkshire 
Wolds— The Line of Ella— The Rise and Glory of Edwin— The House of Ida 
and Ethelfrith— Hereric murdered at the Court of Cerdic— Vengeance of 
Edwin — Invades Elmet — Introduction of Christianity by Paulinus — Coifi 
destroys the God of the Pagans— The Battle of Heathfield — Edwin defeated 
by Cadwallader — Peuda slain— The Celts invade Bryneich and Deifyr — 
Defeat and Death of Cadwallader at Heavenfield — Penda invades Elmet— The 
Great Fight at Whinmoor — Oswy's Victor}^ and Death of Penda— Place-names 
in Elmet— Ligures, Ludees, Leedes — The Name Elmet— Its Regulus, Recog- 
nition, and Strength — The Antiquity of Barwick— Elmet— Churches of All 
Hallows — Early Christianity, &c. 

Chapter IV. - - - - - 54 

History, Antiquities, and General Survey of Elmet. 
Kirkstall — Cookridge — Breare} 7 — Echope and Adel — Roman, Celtic, Saxon, and 
Norman Antiquities— Adel Crags and the Meanwood Valle} r — Headingley, a 
charming suburb— The Wapentake of Skyrack— The Shire Oak— Aire River. 

Chapter V. - - - - 71 

Early History — Prehistoric Remains — British Settlement on Quarry Hill — No 
traces of Roman Occupation— Antiquity of the Church of St. Peter — Norman 
and Mediaeval Leeds— Leeds Castle myth— Ralph Thoresby's House— Old Inns 


Chapter V. (continued). 

— Civil War— Turnpike Riots— St. John's Church and John Harrison — King 
Charles a prisoner at the Red Hall — Notable Men — Startling Growth of 
Leeds during the Last Century — A Great Commercial City— Potternewtou 
and Chapeltown — The Kitchingmans — The Church— Discovery of a Stone 
Coffin — Moortown — Street Lane — Elrnet Hall— Discovery of Roman Altar 
and Bronze Axes— Roundhay Park and its environs (of old a hunting- 
place of kings) — Gipton — Ancient Fortifications — Battle of Whiumoor — Wyke 
Beck — Foundry Mill and Seacroft — Killingbeck and Wyke Bridge House — 
Halton — Its claim to antiquity — A Notable Feast— Whitkirk — Evening 
Scene— Osmondthorpe — Traditions connecting the place to a Royal Villa of 
Saxon Kings — The Osmund Family — Knostrop Old Hall — Jacobean Interiors 
— The Home of the late Atkinson Grimshaw— The Ruins of Thorp- 
Stapletou — Its associations with the Stapletous and Scargills. 

Tempi,enewsam and Whitkirk. IO q 

Botany — The Templars and Knights of St. John— Lord Darnley and the Digrams 
— Colton — Fine View of Whitkirk— Situation of the latter— Manorial Rights 
and Old Customs— The Scargills' Tomb, etc. — Austhorpe Lodge and the 
Smeatons— The Moores of Austhorpe Hall — Bullerthorpe Moor — Roman Road 
— Legend of a Great Disaster — The Lowthers of Swillington — Interesting 
Church — Great Preston — Its past significance— Charming View of Kippax — 
The Old Soke Mill — Hairy palms of the Millers— Importance of Kippax in 
the past— Ancieut Mound, * Cheeny Basin'— Roche Grange— The Church of 
St. Mary — Remains of Cross, typical of Early Christianity — Memorials to the 
Slingsbys and Medhursts — Old Almshouses, etc.— Kippax Park and the Blands 
—The Great Military Road of the Romans (the Ermine Street)— The Djn 
Country — Doncaster, the Campo-Danum of Bede — Key to the North — The 
Southern Border of the Brigautes— Castleford, the Legiolium of the Latins — 
Parish Church, occupying site of former camp — Roman Milestone and Altar — 
Broad Sweep of the Lower Aire Valley — The Western Gate of Elmet- Com- 
manding Ridge of its Frontier — The Aire River, a great barrier— In flood 
times rendered impassable — Norman Army unable to cross — Mary Pannell 
Hill— Ledstone Village and Hall — Ledshani — A Charming Spot— The Church 
and surroundings — 'Lady Betty Hastings' Charities — Her Tomb and Monu- 
ment — Newton, Fairburn, and Brotherton — Thomas de Brotherton— Queens 
Margaret and Isabella — Byram Hall— Micklefield — Samuel Hick — Stourton 
Grange and Garforth — Their Significance and Antiquity. 

Chapter VI. -_--_. t^ 

The Vai^ey of the Cock. 

Round about its Source — Red Hall— Grimes Dyke and Whiumoor — Story of a 
Famous Battle — Morwick Hall and the Grays Family— Penwell Farm and 
Penda's Well — Scholes and the Vevers Family— Stank s and Old Manston— An 
Old-time District — Lasincroft — Shippen and Barnbow— Former Residences of 
the Gascoignes — Description of the Family — Their Adherence to the Old Faith 
—The Popish Plot— Sir Thomas Gascoigne— Partington and the De Parlyngtous 
—The Despensers— Arms of the Gascoignes. 

Chapter VII. - - - - - - 142 

Around Barvvick and Aberford. 

Barwick— Its Naturally Strong Position — The Capital of the Ancient Kingdom of 
Elmet — Traditions of its Kings— Hall Tower and Wendell Hills, places of 
vast antiquity— Oral Traditions concerning its coustruction-^The Rakes— 



Chapter VII. (continued). 

Thoresby's Quaint Reference — The Maypole renewed every third year — Scenes 
of Great Festivity — 'Knocked at Barwick,' a superstition — The Village 
Cross—Charm and Character of Barwick— The Church of All Hallows— Anti- 
quity and Significance of its Early Crosses — Supposed Site of Thridwulfs 
Monastery — The late Canon Hope — Billy Dawson (a famous preacher) — Mary 
Morritt, the double-sighted — The Chapels of the Gascoignes and Ellises — 
Value of the Rectory in 1525— Rare quality of Barwick Lime— Potterton Bridge 
—Dark Lane— Copple Syke Spring — An Ancient Pack-horse Route— Kiddle 
Hall and the Ellises— A Skirmish on the Moor— The Haunted Chamber — 
Whin or Whinney Moor — Old-world Stories, Signs, and Omens — Second- 
sighted — Potterton — Its Antiquities — Morgan's Cross and King Morgan 
— Manor Garth— Supposed Site of an Ancient Church — The Hall — Ass Bridge 
—The Cliff— The Cliff Lady— The Padfoot— Road to Aberford— River Cock 
— Celtic Earthworks — Becca Banks— Becca Mills— The Hall, etc. 


Its Claims to Antiquity — Its Church, dedicated to St. Ricarius— Burial-place 01 
'Sammy Hick' — Tradition of a Miracle— Healthy situation of Aberford— 
Longevity of its Inhabitants — The Pinners— A Foul Deed before the High 
Altar — The Almshouses, a memorial to the Gascoignes— Tradition of a Monas- 
tery at Aberford — Evidence of a Fortress, mentioned by Camden — The River 
Craw— Old Windmill — The Ermine Street— Nip Scaup — High Cross— The 
Noverle3-s— The Roman Way— Buckingham's Well — Coaching Days — Old Inns 
— Bramham Moor— Nevison— Becca and Aberford — Entrenchments— Base of 
Aberford Market Cross— Its Story of a Great Plague— Flint Implements of 
Warfare — Coin of Faustina, the infamous Empress, etc. — Lotherton— Its 
' former Owners — An Ancient Chapel and its Story — Lead or Lede— Its con- 
nection to Celtic Times — The Manor — The Teyes and Scargill Families — 
Leland's Description— Chapel of Lead, in the Parish of Ryther — Singular 
Customs— Two Services held } 7 early— Origin of Custom unknown — Hazelwood 
and the Vavasours — Antiquity of the Family Office of 'Valvasor' — The Hall— 
Extensive Views and Impressions — The Roman Catholic Chapel of St. Leonard 
— Memorials and Effigies— High Chivalry and Renown of the Old Family — 
Grant of Stone and Timber to the Fabric of York Minster— A Story from 
"The Hundred Mery Talys." 

Chapter VIII. - - - - - -179 

Round about Towton and Saxton. 

Newstead and Lead Mill— Castle Hill and Renshaw Wood— Solitary Windings ot 
the Cock Rivulet — Strange Contrasts — Morning before the Battle of Towton — 
The Ferrybridge Fight— Fitz-Walter slain— Warwick's Resolve — The Bloody 
Clifford slain at Dintingdale — Prelude of Battle — Position of the Two Armies 
— Morning of the Great Fight— A Blinding Snowstorm — The Conflict— Defeat 
of the Lancastrians — The Vale of the Cock a Death Trap— Renshaw Wood 
— Mayden Castle— Memorials of the Battle : Burial Mounds, Arrow Heads, 
Battleaxes and Spears— Head of a Maltese Cross, still to be seen on the 
Battlefield— Lord Dacre's Tomb— Traditions of the Villagers— The Red and 
White Roses— A Beautiful Memorial— Towton and Early History— Connection 
with the Fight — Commencement of a Great Memorial Chapel — Village of 
Saxton — The Salleys and Hungates — The vicissitudes of the latter— The 
Sexton's Story of the Hammonds and Widdringtons— Teresa Simpson, a tale 
of, penance— The Church of All Saints— A Vast Grave— The Manor Hall of 
the Hungates— Nor Acres and Dintingdale— Old Traditions, etc. 


Chaptkr IX. - - - - - 197 


Early Christianity — Athelstan's Gift to the Archbishop— Battle of Brunauburgh — 
Raid of the Scots— The Eastern Fringe of El met— Church of All Saints- 
Its former and present significance — A Memorable Incident— Description of 
the Chinch — Chapel of the Holy Angels — Story of an interesting Cross — 
Huddleston Hall— Its Early History— The Chapel— The Huddleston Family 
— A Celebrated Quarry — The Trenches — Newthorpe, etc. — Steeton Hall — Its 
Massive Gateway — Vestiges of Chapel— Story of the Reckett — Wilghbys, 
Reygates and Foljambes— Janus Cross — Lumley and Monk Fryston— South 
Milford and its rural surroundings — Barkston Ash — Head of the Wapentake 
— A Focus of Great Antiquity— Scarthingwell Hall — Beauty of its situation— • 
Brief Sketch of Fenland— Church Feuton— Early History— The Church— Its 
Antiquities — Stump of Market Cross— Site of Old Manor Hall— The Moat — 
Vine Cottage — Unique Rustic Picture — Mysterious Visitants— Little Feuton, 
Hall Garth, etc.— A Fen Road — Fenton Grange and Fenton Lodge — Biggan 
Grange and the Haunted Chamber— The Cultivation of the Old Fenland by 
the Norsemen — An Ancient Road — Mattram Hall, Rust Park, and Bishopdyke. 

Chapter X. - - - - - 219 


Etymology of its Name — Invasion of the Sea Kings — The Castle— A Home of the 
Archbishops— A Resting-place of Kings and Queens — Bishopwood Chase — 
Scottish Raid — A Celebrated Feast — Cardinal Wolsey arrested at Cawood — 
Archbishop Montaign — Remains of the Castle — Reminiscences — Ferry-boat 
Accident — Bessie Pilrner — The Port of Cawood — Wistowgate — The Court Leet 
— Keysbury Hall — Bishopdyke and the Old Soke Mill — Jacky Fowler, alias 
Lord Milton — Pepper and his old-time Stories — Paved Ford over the Ouse — 
The Church of All Saints— Interesting Examples of Architecture — Archbishop 
Montaigne's Memorial— Font in Hospital Garden, now used for pump trough 
— Figures of the Four Evangelists — Old Families still resident in Cawood — 
Instance of Remarkable Attachment of Animals — Largee Young, the Gipsy 
Chief, arrested — Vegetable Cultivation — The Goblin Tree — Wistow— Its 
Situation — Athelstan's Libert}-, Peg Fife, Boggart Brigg, Black Fen and 
Garmaen Carr — The Maypole and the Fairies — Scalm Park and the Storrs — 
The Church— Curious Memorial— St. Hilda's Chapel — Olive House and St. 
Olaf— Selby Abbey — Brief Description — The Missionary, Benedict — His Account 
of the Landscape around Selby- The Highway of the Vikings — Wistow 
Lordship— Monk's Lane— Riccall Church— Invasion of Norsemen — Hardrada 
and Tosti land at Riccall — March through the Forest— Battle of Fulford— 
Capture of York— King Harold enters York— Battle of Stamford Bridge — 
Defeat of the Norsemen— Death of Hardrada and Tosti — The Lament of the 
Vikings — A Dismal Story of Ill-omen- Dauesland — Kellfield — The Eagre, or 
Aigre— The Sea-God of old— The Commercial Inn— The Old Mole Catcher- 
Story of the Mole. 

Chapter XI. .._--_ 245 

RYTHER, UUvESKEIvF, and Grimston. 

The Antiquity of the Ryther Family — Situation of the Village-^The Ancient 
Church — Unique Features — Fine Display of Tombs— Chancel Arch and Hagio- 
scope — A Family of Warriors — Rare Glass —Fine Altar Slabs— Old Font, 
Memorial to the Prioresses of Appleton— The Castle of Ryther — Remaining 
Vestiges— The Moat— Hall Garth— Coney Garth— Sketch of the Ryther 



Chapter XI. (continued). 

Family, Feudyke — Wild Hops and Profusion of Flowers — The River Bank 
— Ulleskelf. a Port of Shipment— An Ancient Settlement— The Hall— Shillito 
Family— John Iceland's Description — A Charming Picture — The Path to Grims- 
ton — Delightful Evening Scene— Grim, the Viking — Grimston House— Kirkby 
Wharfe — The Church — Ancient Crosses— Antiquity of Grimston and Kirkby 
— Picturesque Surroundings. 

The Wild Flowers of Elmet - - - - 257 

By F. Arnold LEES, M.R.C.S. 

Chapter XII. - - - - - - 265 

The Ainsty of York. 

The River Boundary — Derivation of the name, Ainsty — Lois de Montiers — A 
noticeable Ride— Forest of the Ainsty — Early Charters— Description of the 
District : a Garden of Roses— Steeton and the Fairfaxes — ARomanticMarriage— 
Nicholas Fairfax — Chapel Gateway — The Moat — Steeton in Domesday — Colton 
— The Haggs — A Moated Site -Brumber Grange — Hornington Manor — 
Catterton Foss — Bolton Percy — Early History, known to the Romans — Its 
Norman Lords : William de Perci, William Malet, and Osbern de Arches- 
Great Laud Dispute — Ecclesiastical Dignity of Bolton Percy — Magnificent 
Church — Description of Interior — Fine East Window—Relics— Old Usages — 
Memorial of Agnes de Ridre — James Moyser — The Bell Chamber and the 
Bells — The Brockett's Choir — Devil's Door — Memorials to Fairfaxes— Im- 
pressions— Notable Burials— Story of a Dispute — Sir William Fairfax — Mason's 
Marks — Tithe Barn — The Churchyard and its beautiful surroundings and rural 
Cottages— Hall Garth — Returns for the Nona Taxation. 

Chapter XIII. - - - - - - 280 

Nun Appleton Forest. 

Lady Miluer's or the Letter-Box Oak — The Roman Fossa— Foundation of Appleton 
Nunnery— Adeliza— St. Quintin— Story of the Nuns— Edict of the Archbishop — 
Legend of Sister Hilda— Distinguished Patrons— By River to Appleton — 
Reminiscences— The Wild Birds— Nun Appleton Hall — Thomas Fairfax— Civil 
War — Campaign— Sir William Fairfax and beautiful Isabel Thwaites: a 
Romantic Marriage and Notable Alliance — Ancestorsof the Fighting Fairfaxes — 
Suppression of the Nunnery — Anne Langton— The last Prioress— Marriage of 
Mary Fairfax to the gay Duke of Buckingham at Bolton Percy — Death of 
Thomas Fairfax— His Burial at Bilburgh— Strange Contrasts— The Fleet: its 
significance in the past— Roman Valcaster— Moated Site, Holme Green — 
Appleton Roebuck: its Celtic origin— Field Names — Brockett Hall and the 
Brockett Family— The Daffy Field— A Local Celebrity— Oral Traditions- 
Story of Black Tom-Old Appleton— Forest— North Hall and Woolas Hall. 

Chapter XIV. - - - - - - 297 


St. Andrew's College— Present of land by Osbern de Arches— Church at Acaster — 
Burials, William Beckett and Lady Miluer— The Ferry— Stillingfleet : 
Origin of its name— Rustic Scene— Church dedicated to St. Helena— Fine 
Norman Doorways— Tradition of the Danes— Trussbut Family — The Moreby 
Chapel and the Accloins— Leper's Window — A Sorrowful Scene— Moreby and 


Chapter XIV. (continued). 

Naburn — The Palms Family — Acaster Malbis— The Malbises — Roman Camp 
and the Hall Garth— John of Acaster — Church of Holy Trinity: its Antiquities 
and notes of burial — Bishopthorpe— Iceland's Description — Past Associations — ' 
Trial of Archbishop Scrope — Refusal of Lord Chief Justice Gascoigne to pass 
the Death Sentence— A Fatal Quarrel — Old Customs— The Tiber of Humbria — 
Battle of Fulford— Siward's Hill— A Noble View— The New Walk— The 
Nunnery at Clementhorpe — Nuns censured by the Archbishop— The Swan 
Road — Baile Hill — The Key to the City — Invasion of York {page 310) — 
Etymology of its name — Celtic Founding— Roman Eboracum — Imperial Domin- 
ance — Vestiges of the Past— Eforwic of the Eiigle-folk — The Jorvic of the Sea 
Kings— A Magnificent Temple— The Baptism of King Edwin — Destruction of the 
Heathen Temple — The Building of the Cathedral — A Magnificent Monument- 
Brief Description — Famous Windows— Grand Display of Heraldry— Windows, 
Nave, Choir, and Chapter House — Remarkable Relics and Notable Incidents — 
The Crowning of Royalty — St Michael-le- Belfry— Ancient Glass— Guy Fawkes— 
John White and Thomas Gent buried here — The Bedern Chapel - Church 
of St. Helena — Holy Trinity— Goodram gate : its charm, sanctity and anti- 
quity—Fragments of Heraldic Work— College Street and St. William's College — 
Uggleforth and Chapter House Street — Picturesque Features — The Treasurj- 
House — A Unique Relic — The Minster Court— A Place of Pictures — Bootham — 
The Temple of Bellona — Margaret Tudor and St. Margaret's Arch— A Fine 
Picture — Nell Gwynne's House, Clifton Green— Love Lane — Fine View of the 
City from the Meadows — Marygate and the Church of St. Olave— Memorial 
to Professor Phillips—Burial-place of William Etty and Joseph Halfpenny— 
St. Mary's Abbey : a treasured ruin — Jarl Siward — Vandalism — the Hospitium, 
now the Museum of Antiquities— The Abbe) 7 Grounds: exquisite picture — 
A Contrast— The King's Manor— The Multangular Tower— Coney Street— The 
Guild Hall— Old Inns— Reginald Fawkes— Church of St. Martin : its features 
of interest— The Church of St. Michael and the Curfew Bell— Ouse Bridge — 
Camden's description of the Mediaeval Structure — Accidents and Great Floods 
— Kidcote — North Street— Church of St. John— A representation of the Trinity — 
All Saints', North Street: interesting features— The Pryk of Conscience — 
Tanner Row — Church of Saint Gregory — Micklegate and quaint architecture — 
St. Martin's-cum-Gregory — Impressions — Fragment of Roman Sculpture 
—Epitaphs— Church of Holy Trinity, Micklegate, anciently a Benedictine 
Priory— Ghost Story— Skelder gate— A Fairfax Mansion— Bishop Hill— Church 
of St. Mary the Younger : features of great antiquity— St. Mary the Elder- 
Ancient Wrought Stones— The Fairfaxes— The Duke of Buckingham— John 
Flaxman, R.A.— The Jacob's Well— Trinity Lane — " Plumbers' Arms," 
Skeldergate— Tom Bowling. 

Chapter XV. -.-.__ ^ Q 

The Wai,i,s ok York. 

The Roman Girdle— The Anglo-Danish Barrier— Old Baile— Clifford's Tower— The 
Fortresson Baile Hill— Rebellion of the Anglo-Danish People — Garrisons Slain — 
The Fortresses Dismantled — The Vengeance of the Normans — Edwardian 
Walls— Micklegate Bar — Pageantry of Royal Processions — Scenes witnessed 
during the War of the Roses — Reminiscenes of the Sixth Legion — The Friars 
Gardens— George Stephenson — Hudson, the Railway King— Micklegate Bar: a 
notable entrance— A picture of old-worldism— St. Mary's Convent and Nunnery : 
a symbol of the past— Carr Croft— Archbishop Scrope— Old Baile— Skeldergate 
Postern— Church of All Saints', Fishergate— The Church of St. George— Burial- 
place of Dick Turpin— Walmgate Bar— Church of St. Lawrence— St. Margaret : 
an interesting Arch— John Strange Winter— Church of St. Dennis— The Percy 



Chapter XV. (continued). 

Family — Foss Islands — The Old Red Tower, Layertliorpe — Jewbury : a burying- 
place of the Jews— The Venerable Church of St. Cuthbert— The Old Black 
Swan — Peasholm Green— The Bowes Family — Singular Customs— St. Anthony's 
Hall — The Laugtons — A notable Lord Mayor — Hungate — The Family of 
Hungates — Guild of Shoemakers — Carmelite Friars — Holy Priest Well— The 
Guild of Merchant Tailors— St. Anthony's Fire— St. Andrew's Gate, Aldwark— 
The Church of St. Helene — Site of the Imperial Palace — Monk Bar : mediaeval 
architecture— Lord Mayor's Walk — The Deanery Grounds — Delightful pictures 
— Bootham Bar — St. Mary's Abbey — A notable incident — The aged Monk of 
Kirkstall's Story — A Stormy Scene at St. Mary's — The origin of Fountains 
Abbey — Fossgate — The Hall of Merchant Adventurers : a unique picture of the 
past— The Butchers' Guild, Colliergate— St. Saviourgate and Church — Stainbow 
Lane — Low Petersgate — Stonegate— Davy gate — Antique Architecture — Early 
Printing — John White — Thomas Gent — Francis Hildyard— Booksellers' Alley — 
Davy Hall and the Lardiners— Old-time Privileges— The Hospital of St. 
Leonard: Tudor architecture — The Shambles— Domesday Records— Church of 
St. Crux -Duke of Northumberland : his Tomb and Helmet — Chained Bible, &c. 
— Finkle Street and Feasgate — Old Inns — Rembrandtesque Effects— Old 
Romance— Market Scenes— Church of St. Helen — Temple of Diana— All 
Hallows — Lantern Tower — Record of Burials — Whip-ma, Whop-ma Gate : an old 
tradition— Sketch of Old York. 

Chapter XVI. - - - - - - 363 

Kuavesmire : a Place of Execution, Racecourse, etc. — Hob Moor — Effigy of Hob — 
Acomb— Severus Hill— A Magnificent Funeral Pyre— Yacomb Sand— Dring- 
houses — A Street of Tombs — Copmanthorpe— Knight Templars — The Vavasours 
and Middletons — The High Ridge of Ainsty— An interesting Landscape — 
Dureresque Effect— Askham Bogs— An old-time Windmill — Reminiscences of 
Marston Fight— Askham Bryan and Brian Fitz-Alan : notable names— The 
Sanctuary — Rural Pictures— A Pleasant Path— The Song-birds — Askham 
Richard— Domesday Record— William Malet — Osbern de Arches— Story of a 
Land Dispute — Manor and Town of Askham Richard — Church, etc. — The 
Path to Bilbrough — The Hill Fort — Magnificent Prospect— Bilbrough Church— 
The Norton Chapel— John and Margaret Norton— Curious Will of the latter— 
The Bas} r s — Fairfax Tomb — Legends and Stories concerning Black Tom — Site 
of the Manor Hall of the Nortons and Fairfaxes — A Chieftain's Grave- 
Hidden Wealth— The Fairfax Relics— Catterton— A Boundary Dispute— A 
great scrimmage between Rival Villagers — Admiral Robert Fairfax— Joseph 
Brooksbank— The Lost Village of Sandwith and the strife of Civil War- 
Whitehall, an ancient stronghold — Helaugh — Leland's Description— Dis- 
covery of a Celtic Tombstone— A Notable Inscription — The Gospel spread by 
the Disciples of St. Columba— St. Heiu— Father Haigh— Derivation of 
Helaugh— A Village Picture, 1899— Situation of Church— Doorway and Corbel 
Table— Lord Wharton's Tomb in Helaugh Church — Sir Thomas Wharton's 
victory over the Scots at Solway Moss— The Whartons' Tomb at Kirkby 
Stephen— The Truffstoue— A Curious Custom— Billy McLean— A Castle of 
the Bruces— Angram— Chapel Hill and Long Marston— The Priory of Helaugh— 
East and West Manors— The Hermitage in the Wood— The founding of the 
Priory— The Hagets and Depedens— Sir Brian Stapleton, interred at Helaugh 
Priory— Value of the Priory at the suppression of Monasteries— The Priory 
Chapel and remains of the Priory— Bossall' Field— The old Forest of Ainsty — 
Fight between a Forester and a Wild Cat— The Cell in the Wood. 



A Glance Backward. 

IME, measured by periods of many thousand years, has passed 
since the districts which form our subject were inhabited 
by a strange creation of gigantic animals, both graminivora, 
carnivora, and huge amphibia of weird, misshapen form, and 
fearful crawling reptiles, loathsome and poisonous. Looking 
backward through the long dim vista of ages, this picture 
appears to our mind like a phantasy, strange and shadowy. 
The tusked mastodon, now long extinct, many tons in 
weight, browsed in herds with the mammoth, a huge ungainly quadruped. 
The woolly elephant and buffalo roamed the forest vales of the Aire and 
Wharfe, for pasture, with the reindeer, giant elk, herds of oxen and wild 
horse, etc.* Lions and tigers, of a now extinct species, inhabited the forest 
region, or made their lair in the rank tropical vegetation. Packs of 
snarling hyaenas and howling wolves hunted for food the larger animals. 
Boars and enormous bears, the latter larger than the existing grisly or 
polar, haunted the dens and limestone caverns of Craven. 

At that period of time Britain was united to the continent from the 
Atlantic away into the North Sea by land, and over this bridge of earth 
the wild beasts from the South and East, and also man, probably migrated 

See Museums — Leeds and York. 


West. Down this stretch, where now unceasingly rolls the North Sea, 
a great continental river pursued its course to the Atlantic, fed by the 
eastern watershed of Britain on the one hand, and on the other by the 
waterways of Europe. 

Tennyson, who, doubtless, had examined the vast remains of primeval 
growth to be seen on the Iyincolnshire coast (from whence the villagers 
to this day obtain valuable fuel), possibly had the idea of a submerged 
forest in mind when he wrote " In Memoriam " : 

" There rolls the deep, where grew the tree ; 
O, earth ! what changes hast thou seen ? " 


111 v 1 L im 


i L Jttf '^MB 



the aire vai,i,ey.— (See Zoological Section, Leeds Museum.) 

Remains of submarine forests are to be found all along the east coast 
of Lincolnshire and Norfolk, and subsidences in the Channel between the 
mainland and Jersey have taken place within historic times. There is a 
record that, in 1014, the sea-flood came sweeping over the land and drowned 
many towns and a great number of people. In Yorkshire, broad inland 
rivers, lakes, lagoons, swamps, and even seas existed ; for instance, down the 
vales of the Derwent, Mowbray, York, etc. The land-locked waters of the 


Upper Wharfe and Aire, at that time united, were of far greater width and 
depth than to-day, and the current more rapid ; these facts are plainly 
written for those who care to examine the rocks, and higher levels of old- 
world deposits. The surroundings of river, lake, and swamp were alive 
with huge amphibious creatures, half serpent, half fish. The cold-blooded 
plesiosaurus, with fascinating eye, arched its long flexible neck from among 
the reeds on the swampy shores of the wide-spreading Ouse. Huge 
batrachia, frog-like in form, hopped about the banks of the Wharfe and 
Aire, and have left their footprints in the soil behind. Monster fish lizards 
swam along the surface of the inland waters ; and hideous saurians, in scaly 
covering of mail, haunted the shores of river and swamp, The hippo- 
potamus and woolly rhinoceros wallowed in the mud of the Lower Wharfe, 


in the aire vaixey, worthy. — (See Zoological Section, Leeds Museum.) 

Aire, and Ouse. Such were the wild beasts and reptiles, whilst the shades 
of night seemed to evoke from the lower world monstrous birds of the owl 
and bat-like species, the vampire and flying dragon. Buckland says : 
" With flocks of such like creatures flying in the air, and monstrous plesio- 
saurus in the sea, and gigantic crocodiles and tortoises crawling on the 
shore of primeval lake and river, air, sea, and land must have been strangely 
tenanted in the early period of our infant world." 


It is at the latter part of this period, known as the " Post-tertiary," 
that the biped figure of man appears dimly on the horizon, his arms of 
defence a knotted club, wrested from the trees of the tropical forest, and, 
peradventure, with a stone fastened by withes at the end — probably the 
only rude weapon of man in the early stone age, or " Paleolithic." Century 
after century roll past in startling numbers — how many the greatest scientist 
cannot tell us ; climatic changes are gradually taking place, many of the 
larger animals become extinct, and the Almighty Ruler altering the face of 
Nature, in the succession of ages, more suitable for the dwelling of man in 
this district. Primeval forests, seeds of our vast coal measures, are slowly, 
but surely, sinking; the great Eastern Plain, little by little, subsiding 
below water level, and gradually forming the German Ocean. 


Ages still glide slowly by, tropical animals have moved southwards 
towards the equator — before the atmospheric succession and the final sever- 
ance of continents — only the fittest survive ; but the fossiliferous remains 
of all the colossal beasts previously mentioned are to be seen in our museums 
to-day ; many specimens have been unearthed in the vicinity of Leeds.* 

* See case, Leeds Museum ; also specimens in the Rooms of Philosophical Society, York. 


Slowly, but surely, man is emerging from the darkness of the primeval 
world, his weapons of flint and stone becoming more useful and artistically 
formed; the deep sombre woods (his former dwelling-place) are changed for 
caves, screened with boughs, or a circular hollow, and roof of wattle, or 
one leaning against an overhanging rock, — such are known as rock 
shelters. Man's barbaric costume, formed from the skins of wild beasts, 
held together with pins of bone ; from whence we see the slow, but gradual 
transition upward to the manufacture of rude pottery and beautifully 
polished stone axes, spears, and arrows (barbed and otherwise), wonderfully 
fashioned, which are still plentifully distributed over the eastern side of 

Centuries glide away, other people appear upon the scene, and also 
pass away, leaving slight vestiges of their existence, except burial mounds, 
bones, and weapons. The wheel of time still revolving until the discovery 
of bronze marks an epoch in the world's history, and opens out a 
new era in manufacture, both of weapons and domestic utensils. The 
gradual progress of man's advance to civilisation is now defined more 
strongly, and the dawn of the iron age marks the greatest stride upward for 
man, socially and intellectually. And about this period, and a few centuries 
previous to the Christian era, we find the original inhabitants of Yorkshire 
thrust out of their possessions or enslaved by the Brigantes, a strong, hardy 
race of people, hailing from southern Europe ; and from the stubborn resis- 
tance which those people offered to the invading legionaries of Imperial 
Rome, the historic period of Yorkshire properly commences. 

3 H/nft ( !?rp3 


The Brigantes. 

K T~^ EARLY all writers of Yorkshire history agree that the Brigantes, the 
c-L£ most important of British tribes at the Roman invasion, and 
located chiefly within the boundaries of our present Yorkshire, 
originally immigrated from southern Europe. There are several places on 
the continent with only slight variations, bearing the above significant 
name, an appellation formerly given to the hillsmen or highlanders. This 
does not prove that the districts, either in Britain or on the continent, 
inhabited by the Brigantes, were strictly mountainous. Brynaich, reaching 
from the Tyne to the Cheviots, a land of brown heath and mountain, was 
the northern limit of their possessions. Pliny mentions "the Brigiani, a 
people dwelling on the western side of the Cottian Alps."* 

Between the Brigantes and the tribes located 'twixt the Humber and 
the Thames was a certain affinity and racial connection ; also a great 
similarity of name and custom. For instance, the Brigante and the Parisi, 
the latter a semi-independent branch (an offset of the tribe who afterwards 
gave their name to Paris), occupied the land lying between the Derwent, 
Humber, and the sea, chiefly the Holderness and South Wold district. The 
Coritani were a people dwelling in the district lying immediately to the south 
of the Humber, between the valley of the Trent and the sea. The Iceni, a 
tribe immortalized for all time in the annals of history, occupied the district 
between the Fen country, the Wash, and sea coast of Norfolk and Suffolk, 
to the south of whom, and reaching down to the valley of the Thames, lay 
the country of the Trinobantes. 

These little kingdoms were shut in, on one hand, by immense dark 

* The word " brigand" is not improbably derived from the name of the Brigantes; or, 
perhaps, from Briga, a border town near Nice. The word "brigant" first-appears in the 
sense of a light-armed soldier, and then it takes the meaning of a robber. Next we find 
"brigante, a pirate"; and the pirate's ship is called a brigantine, of which the word brig is 
a contraction. 


forests, the one to the south, thirty miles or more in width, stretched 
along the valley of the Thames, nearly from sea to sea. Another forest 
ran north across the Fen country, and along the valley of the Trent, remains 
of which we find in the forest of Arden and Sherwood ; whilst further north 
was the great forest of Elmet, reaching from the Don, over the Aire 
and Wharfe valleys, to Knaresborough, and, beyond, to the more 
inaccessible moorland of north-east Yorkshire ; and still further, rendering 
the difficulties of approach more dangerous to a hostile army, were the vast 
stretches of solitude and fen-land, swamp, morass, and rivers overflowing 
like a sea at flood-time, inundating the land for miles around. Such were 
the conditions of the country, and the disposition of the several British tribes, 
occupying the eastern part of Britain, about the period of the Roman invasion. 

We have previously spoken of the Brigantes as a tribe : strictly speaking 
they were a nation, the most powerful, numerous, and warlike of the whole 

Celtic people at that time inhabiting this 
island. Their territory stretched from the 
Humber's flood to the watershed of the 
Tyne, embracing what afterwards became 
the kingdom of North-Humber-land, 
which included the counties Palatine of 
Lancaster and Durham, and the hill 
fastnesses of Cumberland and Westmore- 
land, the Pennines, from the wilds of 
Stainmoor to the Peak district. The river 
Don, in all probability, formed the boun- 
dary of the kingdom to the south, to the 
north of which are still to be traced 
numerous earthworks, attributed to the 
Brigantes; but in their great fight 
with the legions of Rome, the lines of the Aire and Calder were also ot 
paramount importance. 

The capital of this great people is considered by all historians to have 
been on the Ure — " Isuer Brigantum," built on the angle of land lying 
between the little river Tut and Ure, and adjoining what afterwards became 
the Isurium of the Roman, now Aldborough ; but the Celtic earthworks 
above Grassington, and those in Grasswood, adjoining, prove the latter 
district to have been also a great centre of the Brigantes, probably equal, 
and of even more strategical importance than Isuer. 



Sixteen miles lower down the Wharfe Llecan (British), Olicana (Roman), 
now Ilkley, another strong station ; still further down the river we find 
Bardsey (Celtic), and the fortified ridge and coomb, now Compton ; lower 
still we have Calcaria. Nine miles east from the latter station, across the 
Ein-Stiga (Ainsty) stood Eborach (York), situated in the angle, as it remains 
to-day, at the confluence of the Foss and the Ouse. Sixteen miles south- 
west from York are the huge earthworks of Barrach (Barwick), from whence 
runs the long irregular line of entrenchments above the valley of the little 
river Cock (the Cocru of the Celt), stretching two miles east, beyond Aberford 
(another strong position), at the confluence of the tiny river Crow and the 
Cock. Kippax and Caer- Loid-Coit (Leeds) have also been strong positions, 
guarding the passage of the Aire ; and away south-west on the Calder was 
the important station of Cambodunum ; to the south, protecting the passage 
of the Dun (Don) was Caer-Dune (Doncaster), Caer-Conon (Conisborough). 

To the north of those mentioned, and particularly on the wide moor- 
land stretching from the east coast to the Pennine Range, are numerous 
remains of Celtic settlement and earthworks, this district being the last 
strong place of refuge for the harried Celt, in his great struggle with the 
Roman, as it was also in after centuries with the Engle folk. Such were 
the disposition and chief centres of the Brigantes at the commencement of 
the Christian era, and at this period, when they 
appear upon the stage of the world's history, they 
were not barbarians, but in a fairly advanced o5| 
stage of civilisation. : L« 

the devil's arrows, boroughbridge. 


The Invasion of the Romans. 

1 1 'ED by Julius Caesar, the conquering legions of Rome turned their 
, 1 1 attention towards the subjection of Britain, 55 years before the advent 
of Christ. This invasion or invasions (there was another attempt 
the year following) did not penetrate beyond the Thames valley, and was of 
no great importance. Nearly a century later, Aulus Plautius in command 
of four legions (40,000), and followed soon by the Emperor Claudius, again 
invaded Britain, and the task of subduing and bringing the various tribes 
under Roman domination was seriously begun. 

It does not come within our province to relate how the Romans fought 
their way, step by step, over swamp and desolate moorland, and through the 
great forest belt of the Thames valley, defeating the Atrabates and the 
Trinobantes ; nor does it belong to these pages to explain the great revolt 
and swoop of the renowned Boadicea, Queen of the Iceni ; how her tribe 
smote with sudden vengeance the Romans for their cruel slaughter of Druids 
of Anglesey, and of the swift and terrible retribution which followed — eighty 
thousand Britons were slain, and Boadicea, who could not survive the disaster, 
fell by her own hands : by this deed, the Iceni dwell in the pages of history 
for all time, although passing thence into oblivion as a people. 

Apart from the Brigantes, the Silures and the Ordovices were the most 
valiant and difficult of conquest. Their -Caers were situated amongst the 
most inaccessible hill fastnesses of Wales, and for some years, Caractacus, 
Prince of the Silures, waged an unequal contest with Rome. From motives 
of policy, the Celtic prince ultimately withdrew his army from his own 
country (South Wales), and selected a most impregnable position among 
the hilly fastnesses of the Ordovices (North-east Wales), a formidable 
retreat, and there offered battle to Ostorius Scapula. This grand old 
chieftain did all in his power to resist his adversaries, yet nothing could 



withstand the onslaught of the advancing legion, who with closed ranks 
and holding their shields high, forming a roof above their heads, swept aside 
all opposition, and victoriously penetrated the British camp. Amongst the 
captives was the wife of Caractacus and other members of his family, yet the 
Silures and their allies were not easily vanquished, the bitter conflict was 
prolonged for many a year in the hilly fastnesses of the west ; thirty pitched 

Ton/ Ton 


battles, we are told by the Roman historian, were fought before the Celts, 
inhabiting Wales and the country bordering on the Severn valley, would 
yield their independence— in fact, at no period during the Roman occupation 
of this island, was their power supreme in Wales. Here in this lone, wild 
mountain land, impregnable by nature, the nationality of the Celt has 
survived unto our time. 

Amongst those who gave assistance to the Silures were a strong force 
of Brigantes and the Coritina, led by Venutius, probably a prince of the 
latter tribe, and husband to Cartismandua (of infamous memory), Queen of 
the Brigantes. This army of auxiliaries surprised and gained at least one 
complete victory over the Romans. Soon after the latter event, a bitter quarrel 


arose between Cartismandua and Venutius. The story runs that the false 
Queen, of Cleopatra type, had taken to herself another lover during Venutius' 
campaign in Wales. Be this as it may, the outcome of the trouble was a 
split and civil war amongst the Brigantes. With the assistance of other 
tribes, and the disaffected Brigantes, Venutius made war on Cartis- 
mandua. The battle going against her, she craved assistance of the Romans 
for help to prop up her tottering power ; and probably for the first time 
cohorts of imperial soldiers passed the natural lines of defence — the valleys 
of the Don, Aire, and Wharfe — and thus gained admission into Isuer, the 
capital. Had the Britons been united at this juncture of affairs, determined 
to resist the invader with their united strength, the legionaries would probably 
have never penetrated through the strong natural boundaries of the 
kingdom (the waterways running east and west from the Pennines, making 
this the northern boundary of their empire ; instead of, as afterwards, the 
Tyne and Irthing valleys), or, at least, would have found the conquest of this 
strong people one of far greater difficulty, requiring all the strength which 
Rome would have been able to despatch for that purpose. 

It was at this time, when that grand old type of soldier, Caractacus — 
so long the glory of his nation and the terror of the enemy — fought his 
last fight and fled north, across the Severn and through the Cannock 
Forest and over the Pennines to the capital of Cartismandua, doubtless, 
longing to have another opportunity of striking, for freedom, the invaders 
of his country. Sad to relate, his hopes were cruelly dispelled ; for 
the terms of stipulation, made between the Queen and the Romans for the 
assistance of the latter, was the infamous betrayal of her kinsman — for the 
prince was a relation of hers — into the hands of the enemy, to enhance the 
triumph and glory of the victorious army on their return and parade 
through the streets of Rome. 

This took place about the year a.d. 51 ; but the gallant deeds of this 
brave soldier prince, and his undaunted reply before the tribunal of Caesar, 
shine out with a brilliant lustre across the gulf of eighteen centuries. For 
has he not been the model for the historian, the poet, the artist, and the 
composer, whilst the name of the false-hearted Queen has been branded 
with infamy ?* Her further history can be told in a few words. 

* How like her prototype, Cleopatra of the Nile, was this queen. The three attributes 
of feminine distinctiveness were lacking- in each : that which marks the woman, the wife, 
the mother, were cast aside. Spurred on by a sordid, selfish ambition, each could walk 
complacently over the troubles and ravages of their bleeding country into the arms of the 
strong one — the conqueror — whoever he might be. 



Unable to hold her own against Venutins, even with the assistance she 
invoked, she fled south with the cohorts of Didius about the year 54, and 
so passed into obscurity for ever. 

Venutius, who seems to have been a great leader and a worthy repre- 
sentative of Caractacus, now became King of the Brigantes, and successfully 
maintained his own against the efforts of the enemy, keeping the kingdom 

intact for a period of six- 

teen years, until a.d. 70, 
when the conquest of the 
North British was begun 
in such earnest, as 
could only end in subjec- 
tion or death. Yet for the 
space of ten years the 
bitter fight was waged, 
until the strength of the 
nation gradually waned 
before the superior power 
of Rome. 

So much for written 
history. We must now 
examine and endeavour 
to point out the evidences 
of this great struggle. 

About the year a.d. 70, 
Vespasian, havingbecome 
emperor, sent over into 
Britain well - equipped 
armies commanded by 


Petilius Cerealis, who pressed home the attack on the Brigantes with a firm 
resolve to bring them into complete subjection. And it is from this date 
that we catch the echo of the almost ceaseless tramp of the legionaries, 
with all their military accoutrements and panoply of war rolling north. 

Between the hill fastnesses of peak and forest to the west, and the 
impassable fen-land around the mouths of the rivers on the east, ran a strip 
or neck of land, the only passable road to the north at that period, across 
which, and to the north of the Don, the Brigantes made a strong line of 
entrenchments, so formidable as to stay for some time the advance of the 


invaders ; along the valley of the Don and its tributaries, forming a remarkable 
natural barrier, and the first line of defence, we can imagine the Brigantes 
waiting in readiness to check the advancing foe. 

Many battles were fought ; but how the Celtic u Caer-Dune " (Don- 
caster), inclosed with ditch and rampart, was stormed we cannot say, for no 
complete story of the bitter fight for possession has been handed down to 
our time. The struggle at the fords, the gates to the north, would be most 
protracted and severe. 

Slowly, but surely, the Romans pressed back the defenders to their 
second line of defence, the vales of the Aire and Calder and the high lands, 
extending like a frontier wall north-east of the Aire for several miles. 
From Doncaster, the Eagle banner of the legions was planted at L,egeolium 
(Castleford), from hence the Roman road (still to be distinctly traced) runs 
high and straight above the low-lying lands of the Aire valley, and pierces 
the bold frontier wall — a defensive boundary and the western gateway into 
the wolds of Elmet. Here again the British may have taken their position 
for the defence of the Elmet country ; and there are not wanting evidences 
of the great struggle for existence and supremacy. 

From the high vantage ground, the harried Celt would naturally watch 
the advance of his foes. Here pressing home a charge ; now retreating, 
or lying in ambush ; every yard of ground from the river line being bitterly 

Through the dim haze of centuries we can almost hear the dire tumult 
of the struggle. For the Britons fully realized that once the enemy gained 
possession of this line of defence, it would presage disaster and ruin to their 

Still northward rolled the din of war and strife, until the third line of 
defence — the valley of the little river Cock — was reached. Along the 
northern bank of this river there runs, for several miles, a huge rampart 
and ditch, strengthened here and there by a double line at this day. From 
the top of the vallum to the bottom of the ditch is, in many places, from 
twelve to twenty feet in depth. At the base, in the deep hollow scooped 
out by the natural process of time, slowly runs the little river ; at that 
period, dammed back by natural obstructions, in addition to the blocking 
of the waterway with flood-gates, by the defenders, the beck would be 
swollen in width and depth to a large river, a hundred yards or more 
across, a formidable retreat with the high rampart added, strong 






V< LV*! • 

N »?F 

\i:c E)> 

enough to check, for some considerable time, even an army of Rome. And 
making the difficulty of approach to the line of defence all the more 

dangerous and deadly, 
was the great forest of 
Elmet, stretching in 
one unbroken line from 
the Don across the 
valleys of Aire, Calder, 
and Wharfe, to what, 
in after centuries, be- 
came known as the 
wide forest of Knares- 
borough ; whilst over 
the lower reaches of 
these rivets, from the 
Trent and along the 
Ouse valley to the 
Lower Nidd, there 
existed a wild trackless 
waste of marsh, forest, 
and fen - land, the 
southern part of which 
is still known as Hat- 
field Chase, formerly 
tenanted by innumer- 
able flocks of wild 
fowl, and where the 
aborigines,who under- 
stood the intricate 
mazes, could glide 
swiftly hither and 
thither amongst reeds 
and mud in their light 
coracles, as much at 
home and at ease as the 
wild fowl ; forest and 
swamp forming ex- 
koman milestone found at casti^eford. tensive coverts where 




the harried Briton could flee for refuge or lay in ambush, ready to pounce 
on the Roman soldier when at disadvantage. This was the state of York- 
shire at the invasion. 

Leaving garrisons to keep the road clear and guard the fords at Danum, 
Doncaster, and Castleford, the Romans plunged right into the heart of Elmet, 

following the line of 
road as it runs to- 
day, probably at 
that period a British 
trackway, direct to 
Isurium. Just to the 
left at Kippax are 
vestiges of a Celtic 
fort or rath, and 
other evidences of 
fortification along 
the edge of this hill 
frontier, but not of 
sufficient strength 
to arrest for long the 
progress of an army, 
only to be brought 
to bay on reaching 
the environs of 
Aberford. The 
prefix, aber, is Celtic, 
and means a 
confluence of two 
streams which are 
to be found here, in 
the angle of which, 
and on a high sharp 
ridge, the town 
stands. Here, guarding the line of road and passage of river, the Britons 
held a strong position, well chosen, naturally a defensive site ; close by, 
on the north, runs the Cock ; and a deep indent or ravine on the east, down 
which filters a small stream rising on the confines of Hook Moor, known as 
the Crow or Craw (to crawl). It is only by examination of this angle of laud 



at the confluence of the streams, that one recognises the defensive advantages 
of this strong position at Aberford in the past. Two miles west, situated 
in the fork of two main streams, the river Cock and Bastdale Beck, is the 
Berrauc of the Briton, and Barwick of to-day ; from a natural and strong 
military point, the position here has been most wisely chosen. The strong- 
hold is composed of a centre mound and double trench and rampart, the 
outer ditch also enclosing a large space, comprising several acres ; at the 
northern extremity, the ground falls sharply down from the fighting platform 
to the swampy ground of Eastdale or Rake Beck, nearly 300 feet below, 
practically forming an impassable barrier on this side. 

As Barwick will be again mentioned in the following pages during our 
description of Elmet, we leave it for the present, and glance at the rampart 
and ditch which has been continued on the south side along the edge of the 
bank, high above Eastdale Beck. Here, in the past, existed a large swamp or 
lagoon. Continuing along this bank for some two or three hundred 
yards beyond the Potterton Road, the defensive line descends into the valley 
bottom, crosses the stream, climbs the opposite slope, turns at a sharp angle 
to the right, and passes along part of the Potterton estate in an irregular line, 
to the north of the beck. From thence the rampart enters a woodland 
ridge, known to-day as Becca Banks, and so on just above the river Cock 
to Aberford; it crosses the Roman highway at the latter place, and continues a 
mile or more along the north bank of the river. Whilst three hundred yards 
east from Aberford, another trench and vallum commences at the beck 
on the south side ; runs up the incline to the brow of the slope, turns a sharp 
angle to the left, enters Raper Hills, crosses the Saxton road, and terminates 
abruptly opposite Lotherton. This line of earthworks at the finish points 
direct to Huddleston, about two miles away, where are still to be seen, in the 
woods, remains of trenches supposed to have been formed by the Brigantes 
in this great struggle. 

Apart from the above-mentioned, between Lead Mill and Aberford are 
fragments of other earthworks. The Britons may have protected the shallower 
parts, and the fords, with stakes shod with iron, as Bede informs us was 
done at the fords on the Thames, to withstand the Roman advance. 
It is quite evident that a line of forts and earthworks have extended 
from the swamps of Aire valley, between Leeds and Castleford, on the west, 
to Sherburn on the east, and the position of the trench and the fighting 
platform, in every instance, faces the south ; all point to the fact that from 
that quarter the enemy came. " Were those invaders the Romans ?" some 



may naturally inquire. The question is easily answered. It could not be the 
Angles, for those people came from the east and spread over the wolds, or 
extended westwards from the Humber, along the waterways of the Don and 
the Aire. The Danes, who came in war galleys, chose for their highway into 
the county riverway and creek. The Romans, on the other hand, were 
great road builders, and were the only invaders who fought their way direct 
from south to north, and in less than half-a-century from the second invasion, 
had practically conquered the island, from the Channel to the wall 

G. T. Lowe.] 


barrier, raised to protect the northern frontier of their empire ; and the great 
highroad which we find to-day, running over the wolds of Elmet right 
through Aberford, over Bramhain Moor to Isurium and York, is the work 
of their hands. 

From the foregoing remarks I think it will be apparent that the 
Brigantes have held the valley of the Cock with a tenacious grip, and it has 
been the scene of the main struggle, in fact, the " xAlbuera of the campaign." 
How the line was broken no record tells. The final conquest was reserved 
for Agricola, a. n.. 78-80. His army marched in two columns, one striking 



north, the other operating north-east from the borders of Wales. Faithful 
native guides conducted them by ancient trackways, through the almost 
inaccessible forest and mountain passes, etc. Thus equipped, he went 
through Yorkshire with a stern and steady tramp, and probably swept aside 
the opposition at Becca Banks, and also broke the Bramham Moor camp ; 
then, instead of fighting along the Rudgate to Isuer, turned aside, and 
gained York by a flank march from Tadcaster, across the Ainsty, and 
probably passing from thence, both by road and the riverway, to storm 
and capture Isuer, the capital of the Brigantes.* 

It would have been some pleasure to have known the end of Venutius, 
the gallant Celtic prince, but on this point history is silent. He may have 
fled with those who would not stoop to the yoke of the invader, and found 
refuge amid the hills and deep ravines of the upper dales, which for at least 
another generation remained unconquered. The vast remains of Celtic 
occupation point to such a city of refuge at Grassington, where for some 
time the Brigantes kept up some state and show of independence. At length, 
overstepping the limits of prudence, the latter made war on a tribe under 
Roman protection, and, becoming emboldened by success, cut up a cohort of 
imperial troops. This deed brought down on their heads the strong avenging 
arm of Rome, and the Brigantes, as a united and independent people, from 
this date ceased to exist. 

The Roman Roads. 

That the Romans were great road makers, requires no further proof 
than that the remains of such can still be traced after a lapse of 1,600 years. 
All roads in the north centred in and radiated to and from York. Those 
which principally concern our subject are immediately to the south and 
west of the ancient city. Possibly some of these roads were partly built 
on the line of ancient British trackways, which, however, unlike the 
Roman ways (which nearly always ran direct from point to point), 
deviated according to the circumstance and nature of the ground. 

* a 

At the return of summer," says Tacitus, " Agricola assembled his army. On their 
march, he commended the regular and orderly, and restrained the stragglers ; he marked 
out the encampments, and explored in person the estuaries and forests. At the same time, 
he perpetually harassed the enemy by sudden incursions; and, after sufficiently alarming 
them by an iuterval of forbearance he held to their view the allurements of peace and repose. 
By this management, many states, which till this time had asserted their independence, were 
now induced to lay aside their animosity, and to deliver hostages. These districts were sur- 
rounded with castles and forts, disposed with so much attention and judgment, that none 
of the newly explored part of Britain was left unguarded." 



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One of the four main trunk roads of Roman construction — the Ermine* 
Street — ran direct through Elmet, crossing the Don at Doncaster, 
the Aire at Castleford, and the Cock at Aberford. Hereabouts the old road 
is easily traceable, and still called " Roman Rigg." From thence, passing 
through the Hazlewood estates and fringing Bramham Park, a branch 
diverges sharply to the right, just beyond Hedley Bar, for Tadcaster ; passing 
over the Wharfe, opposite the site of the present church, and across the 
Ainsty to York. 

The other road, the Rudgate, Celtic, Rhyd-a-ford (possibly an early 
British way), ran by Toulston down to the Wharfe, past Newton Kyme, 

and crossed at St. Helen's Ford; 
thence over the western fringe 
of Ainsty, leaving Walton 
(Wheales-tun) to the left, and 
over the Nidd at Cattal, and 
forward, by way of Whixley and 
Little Ouseburn, to Aldborough 
— the Isuer of the Briton, and 
Isurium of the Roman. 

Another lesser road ran 
from Mancunium (Manchester) 
to Cambodunum (Slack), and 
over the Aire near S willing- 
ton, and into the Elmet. 
This via-road or street can 
still be distinctly traced running 
for some distance on, and then 
parallel with the present road. 
Thence continuing through a stretch of wood, belonging to Templenewsam 
estate, and over the fields to the Selby Road. The track is still visible— one 
of the fields here is called " Roman Rigg" Field. The road line now passes 
the West Yorkshire Colliery, runs between Old Manston and Stanks, where 
it crosses the river Cock. Near this crossing, the rigg, or bank, is very 
high ; from hence we have traced it over two fields, pointing in a direct line 
to Scholes; it is finally lost by the wood, adjoining the Seacroft and 

Although the line of road here becomes invisible, there 

Barwick highway 

* Eorme, the Men of Farm or Fen-laud, the Erniings, through which this road passes 
from the south. Thus the name, which at first had been given to a portion of the road, 
which bordered the Fens, was at length given to the whole line of road. 



is no reason to doubt that it joined the road leading from Adel over 
Braniham Moor, remains of which are discovered just to the east of Thorner. 

Another military way, which crosses Elmet, ran from the main street, 
crossing from Deva (Chester) by way of Olicana (Ilkley), over the Blubber- 
honse Moor to Isnrium. Deviating from the above road, the one under 
onr present consideration ran east, from Ilkley, along the high ridge above 
the Wharfe, over Gniseley Moor, Carlton, and Bramhope, past Cookridge, 
to the Roman camp at Adel, which is still traceable. From hence, the 


[By Owen Boiuch. 

line of road continues along the ridge of high lands of Aldwoodley, crossing 
the Leeds and Harrogate highway, thence over Brandon and Blackmoor, 
where many relics appertaining to this way have been turned np of late 
years ; also the debris and remains of furnaces used for smelting purposes. 

From Blackmoor to the Leeds and Wetherby road, one can walk on 
the Rig. Near Scarcroft, the road splits into two branches, one running on 


the lofty ridge past Eltofts Wood and through Thorner, and beyond, the 
track crosses the south side of Bramham Park, and hereabouts joins the 
Ermine Street, three miles south of Tadcaster. The other branch previously 
mentioned, is clearly to be traced in the meadow, south side of Scarcroft, 
where it is cut by the present Wetherby Road. From thence it ran north 
of Wothersome, over Stubbing Moor, and forward to Bramham, joining the 
Rudgate in the vicinity of Toulston. 

[/>_)' Owen Bmvcn. 

An old man, upwards of fourscore, told us that sixty years ago he 
assisted in the breaking up of Stubbing Moor, and at that time the site of 
the road was for some distance laid bare, and a vast quantity of large 
irregular blocks of stone were carted away. 

At other places on this street, portions of the road, in the shape of paving 
stones, some even six feet in length, and a foot or eighteen inches broad, 
have been laid bare by the plough and spade, principally on Blackmoor, 
Brandon, and at Aldwoodley. These stones, relics of the road, are to be 
found in several situations, and are objects of various comment to the 
interested wayfarer. 



v»| .« £ 

I few* 


Vitruvius's Directions for Making a Roman Road.— The foundation began b\- 
making two parallel furrows, the intended width of the road, and then removing all the loose 
earth between them till they came to the hard solid ground, and then filling up this 
excavation with fine earth, hard beaten in. This first layer was called i; pavimentum." 
Upon it was laid the first bed of the road, consisting of small squared stones nicely ranged 
on the ground, which was sometimes left dry, but often a large quantity of fresh mortar was 
poured into it. This layer was termed " statumen." The next was called "rudus," or 
" ruderatio," and consisted of a mass of small stones broken to pieces and mixed with lime 
in the proportion of one part of broken stones to two of lime. The third layer or bed, which 
was termed "nucleus," was formed of a mixture of lime, chalk, pounded or broken tiles 
or earth broken together, or of gravel or sand and lime mixed with clay. Upon this was 
laid the crust surface or pavement of the road. It was composed sometimes of stones, set 
like the paving-stones in our streets, and sometimes of flag-stones cut square or polygoually, 
and also, probably ofteuer, of a firm bed of gravel and lime. The roads were thus raised 
higher than the surrounding ground, and on this account the mass was termed "agger." 
The smaller roads were of simpler construction. 


The Kingdom ok Elmet. 

OUT of the chaos following the collapse of the Roman power in Britain, 
there came forth on the page of history the little kingdom of Elmet, 
appearing only like the glimmer of a small star when surrounded by 
those of greater magnitude, rising forth into life, as it were, to battle for the 
old order of things, withstanding the shock, inrush and tumult of barbarian 
hordes from other lands, thirsty with long waiting for the final severance of 
the Roman from the Briton. So it stands forth out of the chaos and dis- 
membered fragments of Romanised Celtic Britain. 

The chronicles of this tiny kingdom are of the briefest, but those 
who care to study its history must seek for information in the strong and 
natural defensive advantages of the district, the river boundaries surround- 
ing it on all sides, and in its tumuli, raths, mounds, and intrenchments ; also 
in the Celtic names of its rivers and mountains, etc. From its rise to its 
overthrow, extending over three to four centuries, Britain was environed by 
enemies. Pirates from Ireland invaded the western coast, Pict and Scot 
raided and burnt down to the very walls of York, and the Angles, who came 
in their war keels, ravaged the Yorkshire coast line, spreading desolation and 
ruin over the wold country. Then began that long and bitterly contested 
fight, lasting over centuries, a war of possession and dispossession, a pushing 
back of the Celtic people, and a gradual settling down on the land by the 
Anglo-Saxon race. It was this period which produced such great men of 
Celtic stock, as Aurelius Ambrosius, Vortigern, Uther-Pendragon, Merlin 
the bard, and the immortal Arthur 

The Scotch chronicles say that in 521, King Arthur kept Christmas 
at York, surrounded by his courtiers and famed knights of the Round Table. 
No other city in Great Britain can dwell 011 such historic scenes of the past 
as the ancient city of York, and the visit of this prince adds another link to 
its long chain of famous personages and strange scenes enacted there. 



Tennyson, in that soul-inspiring theme, " The Passing of Arthur," has 
breathed around this old hero of glamour and romance a beautiful, yet strange 
and weird spirit of immortality. 

It is not possible to exactly determine the extent of the kingdom of Elmet : 
perhaps it is best measured by natural surroundings, being situated in a 
boundary of river, swamp, moor, forest, and mountain. In its most pros- 
perous era, the greatest width from east to west comes under fifty miles, 
probably reaching from Sherburn on the east to the hill fastnesses lying 
between the head-waters of the Aire and Nidd. 

Starting from Sherburn, along the border of the Fen district, where in 
later centuries the Angle raised his Fentown (Fen ton), and the Norseman 

Ulla, Ullaskelf — the boundary follows the 
line of the Wharfe past Tadcaster, 
with the outlying Celtic stations of 
Bilburgh, Helaugh, and Walton, and so on 
to Kirk Deighton and Kirkby Overblow, 
and possibly reached north in its most 
palmy days as far as Knaresborough, which 
gives name to the Claro Wapentake. The 
word " Claro " is a corruption of the Celtic 
word " Caer-haug'r " (the hill of the Caer). 
Thence the natural boundary runs over the 
high ridge of moor dividing the watershed 
of the Wharfe and Nidd. Beyond this high 
ridge the Angles seem scarcely to have 
penetrated, the British having held undis- 
puted possession until the period of Norse 
invasion ; the place-names along the north 
bank of the Wharfe are, with few exceptions, 
all of Norse derivation. 

fa ' % 

Fragments, Sejii 
<-o Tall els cv 

The natural boundary on the western 

side of the kingdom spreads towards the 

wild mountain range, the head-waters of the 

V o RK . Wharfe. Skipton stood within its western 

fringe ; thence the boundary passed over 

the moors in the direction of Keighley and Bingley ; following the basin 

of the Aire (a natural barrier) to where it merges into the great Ouse plain 

between the western fringe of Elmet and the northern rheged (a frontier) 



or Celtic kingdom of Cumbria ; which reached from the mouth of the Ribble 
to the Westmoreland Fells, a wild district, wild even to-day, and here 
the Celtic blood is still more pure than in any other part of Yorkshire. Here 
in the early centuries ruled smaller chieftains, yet in subordinate authority 
to the power of Elmet, whose influence reached to the confines of 
Cumbria. Such was the kingdom of Elmet at the commencement of the 
sixth century, by the end of which it had already been shorn and much 
narrowed in its proportions. 

The Anglian people were at this period rapidly settling between the Aire 
and Calder ; Ethelfrith, the conquering King of Deira, who, Bede says, was 
the most severe scourge the Celts ever met with, boldly fought his way up 
the river valleys, and led his army over the wild moorlands of north Yorkshire, 
passed down the vale of the Ribble, reached the Dee country by a rapid 
march, gave battle to the north Welsh, gaining a decisive victor)', 
capturing the important city of Deva (Chester), and thus severed the 
connection and line of influence and communication between the Britons of 
North Wales, Cumbria, and Elmet. 

The great enemy to the State seems chiefly to have come from the 
East ; even as early as the fourth century, small war bands of Angles lauded at 
various points along the Yorkshire coast, and from that date to the capture 
and sack of York, one hundred and fifty years later, or to even a century 
later still, when Edwin overran Elmet. The danger to the kingdom seems 
ever to have been increasing from the East, from the beautiful moorlands of 
Brynaic and chalk wolds of Devyr, with its long frontier of shimmering ocean. 



It was here by the North Sea the Celts encountered the first brunt of 
heathen fierceness, and from hence the Engles passed westward, ravaging 
and harrying the wolds and moorlands, yet the conquest of Yorkshire was 
not the work of a year or even a century. For many a year the Britons 
held the Angles pinned to the eastern wolds, and when at length driven 
from their beloved " Devyr " — Saxon Deira, they fell back behind the line 
of the Derwent, a natural and for long an effectual barrier, stretching from 
the moors of North York to the huge swamp and fen-land of the Ouse. 
How long the war bands of the Engles, or Deirans, as at this period 
called, were held to the east of this line of the Derwent we cannot say. 
Through the lapse of centuries we can almost hear the tumult of the 
struggle. Its very length tells of the stubbornness, resistance, and obstinacy 
of the Celt, who retired slowly and sullenly backward, step by step. 

At A dtl milu 


Then came the final rush and swoop on the old city of York, for three 
centuries the home of Rome's famed legion, the residence of Emperors, and 
for long the capital of Britain. Standing in the angle of land between the 
confluence of the Foss and the Ouse, its natural and artificial defences can be 
easily studied to-day. But the city of the Romans, with its wealth, its temples 
and other noble buildings, villas, baths, its tesselated pavements, and marble 
statues, and all the refinements of civilisation, art, and luxury, fell beneath 
this great swoop of the Engle folk; and the treasures of palace and temple, 
the pomp and luxury of imperial Rome, were trodden beneath the heel of the 


Pagan, or, broken and otherwise mutilated, were buried beneath the ruin 
(wreck, and burning, and the accumulation of debris and desolation following 
in the wake), to be unearthed in after centuries as evidences of York's former 

Still the Elmet kingdom remained intact for at least another hundred 
yeais, wedged in, as it were, between the Deirans and Mercians, its cordon of 
foes gradually coiling round and hemming its defenders in on every side. 
To the west, however, the line of the Aire was at least for three centuries 
the eastern frontier of the Engle folk. Settlements in the Wapentake of 
Claro were even of a much later date, and then only very precarious ; in fact, 
the vestiges of the Engle in this Wapentake are only very faint, and only 
slight in Skyrack Wapentake. 

From the mouth of the Wharfe to Arthiugton, their power has been 
small indeed, for the latter place is their first settlement ; and from thence 
to Addingham, seventeen miles further, we find the same dearth of Angle 
colonisation. On the east bank of the Aire we have also this circumstance : 
Swillington marks their first settlement from the mouth of the Aire 
upwards, being situated near the site of the Roman vicinal, Headingley 
being the second, also standing near the line of road from Ilkley to Adel. 

Between the north-east bank of the Lower Aire, from Ledstone or 
Kippax to the north watershed of the Wharfe, the place-names reveal in 
their Celto word combinations Celtic occupation and rule, coeval with 
the Norse invasion and occupation ; hill, valley, and river, in many instances, 
remain purely Celtic; for instance, the "chevens" (cefn), "bryns," "lyns," 
" pens," "dunes" or " duns," the "combes" and "coeds." In fact, if we examine 
the high ridge running from Bramham to Ilkley, along the south side of 
the Wharfe, we shall find in many instances a survival of Celtic place-names. 
Even our great industrial city of Leeds holds in its name, along with several 
other places, the memory of a Celtic people — the Leods or Ludees. In the 
name of its river, the Aire — the " bright shining water " (now, alas ! black), 
we have another evidence of their occupation. In fact, the names of our 
rivers and streams all reveal their Celtic story ; the word Wharfe we obtain 
from the same people, whose poetical tongue had, in obedience to a poet's eye, 
combined the root word ch-wefru or g'arw — the " hurrying, gushing, violent 
water." To the same eye and tongue, the Angle owed the name of the 
river Nidd (Nawdd) — the "dark, obscure, secluded." To the Celt, also, the 
invader owed his Crimple (the crwm-pwll) — "bending, winding pool, pro- 
perly descriptive of the shimmering waters of that twisted knoll-bent pool." 


Turning for the present to the south-west fringe, and extending our 
research across the vale of the Calder to the Don, we there find numerous 
evidences of early Angle colonisation. From Snaith, perhaps the most 
eastern of Engle settlements, to Cononley, a distance of forty miles, the 
valley of the Aire, to the south and west, has been permanently occupied 
since the end of the sixth century. 

Between Snaith and Woodlesford there are the Anglian stations of 
Pollington and Kellington, Knottingley and Darrington ; beyond, we have 
Drighlington, Stanningley, Manningham, and Bingley. On the Calder, we 
find Horbury, Dewsbury, Almondbury, Iyittleborough. Further south still, 
reaching to the valley of the Don, we find quite a cluster of " worths" and 
" burghs " — Coningsburgh, Sprotborough, Greasborough, Worsborough, 
Masborough, Stainborough, Kexborough, and Hemsworth and Badsworth 
or Brods worth ; besides a host of " hams " and " tons," all pointing to a line 
of river frontier, and to the wedge of Saxon colonisation thrust in between 
the Celts of Blmet and their kinsmen to the west. 

There is one great historic fact in connection with Elmet, which 
probably marks the boundaries and limits of the ancient kingdom more 
clearly than any other, and the outcome of King Athelstan's great victory 
over the combined army of Danes and Scotch at Brunanburgh, viz., the 
creation of the ''liberty" of Cawood, Wistow, and Otley, including the palace 
and lordship of Sherburn, with all the villages and hamlets appertaining 
thereto, with full power and rights vested in the Archbishop. This policy 
of Athelstan showed great forethought, as well as a gracious and kingly act. 

The Danes and their allies had for long been a thorn in the side of the 
Angle kings. Anlaf, the Norse leader in this battle, was the pretender to 
the kingdom of Northumbria, and a Pagan or Christian by turns, according 
to circumstances. The sea kings, and other princes of the north, were all 
very jealous of Athelstan's great power, and nearly always in open or covert 
rebellion, continually threatening his over- lordship and supremacy. 

All through the centuries of harrying and plunder, by Angle and Dane, 
the Celt had survived, and still clung tenaciously (although spirit-broken 
and considerably reduced both in number and power) to the little kingdom 
of Elmet, probably fighting on the side of Athelstan, in that king's great 
battle against the confederacy of the north.* 

* In a great gemot, held at Nottingham by Athelstan, a.d. 930, there attended, among 
others, three Welsh princes. This is not the only instance of the generosity of this famous 
king, for his magnanimity and generosity extended, on many occasions, even to his great 



The Celts of Elmet were of Christian faith, and had been so, more or less, 
since its introduction into the island by the Apostles, during the Roman 
domination; thus the reason for the creation of the " liberty n of Cawood, 
Wistow, and Otley was twofold : firstly, the existence of the Christian 
Celt in Elmet ; secondly, its erection as a menace and buffer to the semi- 
independent and unruly Danes, who at this period had become all-powerfnl 
in Northnmbria, and who were now either thrust further back by this 
wedge of Angle and Celt, or compelled to submit to the power of Saxon arms. 
Further, the boundary 7 of the " liberty" appears almost identical with the 
boundary of the Elmet. 

The great barony of the Archbishop, over which he ruled with almost 
kingly power, included in the " liberty " of Cawood, Wistow, and Otley, also 

the palace and lord- 
ship of Sherburn-in- 
Elmet. The disso- 
ciation of the members 
of this " liberty" has 
always been an in- 
superable perplexity ; 
why places so remote 
should be linked in a 
common bond, has 
been the source of 
much comment. 

Cawood and Wistow 
extend from the 
Wharfeto the northern 
fringe of the great 
Bretune, where Selby now stands, a territory afterwards filched from the 
Brets, with its old ecclesiastical organisation, for the establishment of Norman 
monasticism. The Otley portion of the "liberty" lies away from the 
eastern fringe at least thirty miles.* 

Whence came the chain of association ? What was the connecting 
link? Their oneness came from the Christianity which had never died at 

* The ancient parish of Otley, as it existed in the years following the preaching of 
Paulinus, who set up the cross at this place, and the extent of the parish he then created 
stretched from the watershed of the Nidd to the banks of the Aire. Its members were 
Bayldon, Hawkesworth, Burley, Denton, Lyndley, Farnley, Newhall, Menston, Weston, and 
Guiseley, the latter, whose name, the " Gisel-lega"— " district of the king's office "—marks 
its importance. 





Slierburn and Barwick ; the connecting link was the little kingdom of 
Elmet. The eastern boundary of the "liberty' 1 of Cawood, Wistow, and Otley 
in Wharfedale, is yet the strongest delineation of the zone of influence so 
long maintained at Barwick. 

The members of the Archbishop's barony of Slierburn prove the same 
thing on the eastern flank of the ancient kingdom, their southern boundary, 
in turn, being determined by that of the 
barony of Drax, which stretched widely 
along the north bank of the Aire from 
Drax, through Leeds to Bingley. Both 
these fragmentary baronies teach the same 
lesson, of which the core lies in the kingdom 
of Elmet. 

The battle of Brunanburgh 
was fought in 937, but where 
the exact field was, appears 
beyond determination.* For the 
time being, it entirely shattered 
the great power of the Norse- 
men, and consolidated that of the 
Celts, still clinging to the land, 
though scattered and drooping 
under the scourge of Norse 
invasion. Taking the fullest 
advantage of such an oppor- 
tunity, Athelstan erected the 
"liberty" of Cawood, Wistow, 
and Otley, making the Arch- 
bishop lord over the territories 
where Celtic nationality had still 
life, though feeble power. Hence 
the disjointed nature of such a 


This is no place to review the keen contentions as to the actual site of 
the battle, nor would it be profitable to do so. The word Brunanburgh is 
Angle, meaning the fortress at the burns or streams. The name, therefore, 

* A mile north-west of Bolton Percy there is a Brumber Hill and Brnmber Grange 
("her" is distinctly Norse). It is just possible this spot may have been the site of battle. 



seems to attach the battle to a place where Anglian speech prevailed, and it 
is very probable, for several reasons, that the action was fought in the 
neighbourhood of Wharfedale. One very peculiar circumstance is found in 
the mention of the place as Brumby (a Norse expression), in the Saxon 
poem celebrating the victory. The stone memorial cross now in Leeds 
Parish Church is said to have been raised to the memory of Anlaf, son of 
Silxtryg, the Norse leader in this great action. 

From our digression we must now return to the regular order of 
events — the conquest of Elmet by Edwin ; his death at the great fight at 
Heathfield ; the reconquest of Elmet and the invasion of Northumbria by 
Cadwallader and Penda; and the causes which led up to the above series 
of events. 

Around these incidents and sidelights of history we obtain glimpses, 
though feeble and glimmering, of the Royal House of Elmet. That there 
existed a " Regulus," or petty king, in this little princi- 
pality, during the Roman administration, there is not the 
least doubt ; and his authority, after being to some extent 
diminished, was left respected by treaty arrangement, the 
price of his alliance and that of his tribe. What had 
remained intact during Roman rule, was found too strong 
to be overthrown during the first inrush and onslaught of 
the Angles, and so the kingdom remained intact for a period 
of two hundred years or more, until the days of King 
Edwin, who, Bede says— " with great power commanded 
all the nations, as well of the English as of the Britons 
who inhabited Britain, except the people of Kent." With 
all deference to the immortal Bede, there were other 
exceptions to Edwin's supremacy, notably that of Penda, 
who, after his accession to the throne of Mercia, 626, allied 
with Cadwallader, the Briton, began a great strife for 
supremacy, which only ended in the death of Edwin at 

It may be that our views of Elmet are a trifle magni- 
fied, yet, doubtless, Celtic royalty held their court at 
__ Barwick (their capital or oppidum),* in rude pomp 
gp and barbaric splendour, in the far-off days of 

Norse Cross, 
in Leeds Parish Church. 

* Oppidum— town (as opposed to Rome, nrbs) ; among the 
Britous— a fortified wood. 



unwritten history ; and, apart from this Regiunculus, being the last to come 
under the yoke of the invader, the Britons of Elmet retained the worship 
and form of an earlier Christianity, brought hither centuries before the time 
of Augustine and Pauliuus. 


The newly-formed kingdom of Deira, that is, the district between 
the Humber and Tees, and the kingdom of Bernicia, the latter lying 
between the Tees and the Tweed, were both Angle kingdoms under separate 
rule, until they came into collision towards the end of the sixth century, 
when the struggle for supremacy began between Ethelric, son of Ida 
(founder of the northern kingdom), and Ella. This strife filled the slave 
market of Rome with captives, brought thither for sale from the moors and 
wolds of Deira. The following incident is in connection with the above- 
mentioned strife. 

While yet a simple priest, the afterwards famous pontiff, Gregory the 
Great, was one day passing through the slave market of Rome (situated at 

the end of the ancient Forum). His attention 
was forcibly arrested by some slaves there for 
sale, with bright complexions, shapely figures, and 
fair long hair. 

" Whence came these youths?" he asked. 

" From Britain," was the answer. 

"Are the people Christians, • there ? " he 

" No, Pagans." 

"Alas!" said he, "how grievous it is that 
faces fair as angels' should be in subjection to the 

He next inquired the name of their tribe. 

" Angles," said the dealer. 

" Ah ! that is well. Not Angles but angels they 
are in looks, and co-heirs of angels they ought to 
be. Where in Britain do their people dwell ? " 

was the reply. 

is to deliver them from God's ire. And who is the 


" In Deira, 

"Then our duty 
king of Deira ? " 


" Ella," said the merchant. 

" Then," replied Gregory, " Alleluia must be sung in his country." 
The sequel to the above incident will be told in the story of Edwin. 
In 558, immediately after the above scene occurred in the market place 
of Rome, in the above description of which the curious word-play of Gregory 
is so graphically told, the aged king of Deira passed away. At his death, 
the strength of his kingdom seems to have suddenly collapsed ; and, as 
his rival Ethelric of Bernicia became supreme and entered Deira in triumph, 
the sons of Ella and their kinsmen fled for safety over the border. Thus the 
two states were united, and became the ancient kingdom of North-Humbria. 
The story of young Edwin, the future king of Northumbria, and 
conqueror of Elmet, carried into exile by his brethren, a boy of three years, 
is one of the most interesting in the annals of Saxon history. Both as a 
fugitive, hiding from the enemies of his father's house, and afterwards as the 
successful monarch, his life is full of strange vicissitudes and incidents, and, 
as in the rule of Ethelfrith, his predecessor in power, closely in touch with 
the Celts of Elmet. 

The great fear and jealousy of the exiled house of Ella, which Ethelfrith 
(who succeeded his father in 593) evinced all through his reign, and which 
ultimately proved his ruin, seems to have grown more acute year by 
year, and were the only difficulties which marred his triumph and 
ambition. During all the wanderings of the fugitive sons of Ella, this 
striking fact is impressed on the mind, for wherever they took refuge, the 
emissaries of Ethelfrith found out their hiding-place, and pursued them, with 
bitter malignity, from court to court. 

For years they found an asylum with the north Welsh, and also with 
Cerdic, king of Elmet. The youthful Edwin spent some years at the court 
of Cadvan, the Celtic prince of Gwynedd (North Wales), who generously 
provided him with shelter and education. His companion during these 
years of exile would, most probably, be Cadwallon (or Cadwallader), son of 
his host, Cadvan, the afterwards famous prince, and Edwin's rival on the 
battlefield. As this friendship has a bearing on the fate of Elmet, more 
will be told. 

Another place of refuge for the royal fugitive was with Cearl, king of 
Mercia, whose daughter, Quoenburga, he married while in exile. Here, 
Edwin would also become acquainted with the celebrated Penda, who, after 
the death of Cearl, became king of Mercia, and a rival to Edwin's supremacy. 
These are historical items which require noting. 


Whoever gave shelter to the exiles were continually bribed with costly 
presents to murder or remove, in some way, the sons of Ella. Failing this, 
their protectors were menaced with the scourge of war. In this manner, two 
of the exiles seem to have been removed — Eadfrith, the only brother of Edwin, 
and several years his senior, disappeared out of history mysteriously ; and his 
son, heir to the throne of Deira, Hereric, father to the saintly Hilda, was 
removed by poison, when receiving hospitality, and under the protection of 
Cerdic,* the king of Elmet, a dark deed which hastened the downfall of 
his kingdom. 

In all these harryings, plottings, and murder, we can see behind the 
scene the malignant hand of Ethelfrith, unable to rest until the royal line 
of Ella had been extinguished. 

On the death of Hereric, nephew to Edwin, the latter became sole 
representative to the throne of Deira, and the object of even greater hostility, 
being hunted like a wild beast from covert to covert. His last refuge was 
with Rsedwald, king of the east Angles, whither he was probably accompanied 
in his flight by Hereric's widow and children, for a nephew of Rsedwald's 
soon after married Hereswith, a daughter of Hereric. Hither, in quick 
succession, to the court of Rsedwald, appeared three separate embassies 
from Ethelfrith, offering gold and costly presents for the murder or removal 
of Edwin, or the alternative of war if the Northumbrian's request was not 
complied with. Either the greed of gold or the fear of Ethelfrith made 
Raedwald's pledge of protection for some time waver in the balance, and 
it is said he even went so far as to promise the envoys either to slay the 
prince, or to place him a prisoner into their hands. The following story is 
the outcome of the king's vacillation . 

One evening, some friend of the exile visited his chamber, and 
warned him of his impending danger, and offered him guidance to another 
hiding-place. The reply of Edwin shows the greatness and nobility of his 
soul — " I cannot do this thing," he said, " I cannot be the first to break the 
pledge which I have received from so great a king; if I am to die, it is 
better Roedwald should slay me than some meaner man, and I had rather 
perish with honour than continue to live a friendless fugitive." However, 
under the cover of darkness, he withdrew from his chamber, and, not 
knowing whither to fly, he sat on the stone bench at the door of the king's 
court, and there sank into a dreamy slumber ; when, suddenly, a stranger of 
dark complexion appeared before him (probably Paulinus, of whom we shall 

* The name Cer4ic or Cereticus is the I^atiuisatiou of a Celtic original. 


hear more anon), and thus addressed him: " Wherefore, at this hour of 
night, sit ye here, sorrowful and watching, while others rest in sleep ? " 

The exile replied : " Of what concern can it be to you where I spend 
my vigils ? " 

"I well know your distress," said the stranger: "what meed will you 
give, should I be the means of making Raedwald spurn the overtures of 
your enemy, and enable you to outshine in greatness the glory of every king 
who has gone before you ? " 

" Surely," answered Edwin, "would I listen to the counsel of him who 
would deliver me from the great dangers which surround me, and exalt me to 
be king over my own people, and do, in return, whatever lay in my power." 

" And, if I foretold you this," said the stranger, " and could show thee 
better rede for life and soul than any of thy kin ever heard, would'st 
thou hearken ? " 

Edwin readily assented. 

" Then remember the pledge," said the vision, as he laid his right hand 
on the head of Edwin, and vanished into the darkness, so that Edwin 
thought he had seen a vision. 

Probably through the influence of his queen and Paulinus, Raedwald 
absolutely refused to betray the royal fugitive. Instead, quickly gathering his 
troops together, he led them to meet the army of Ethelfrith, which was already 
on the march south. The latter was taken by surprise, in the tangled forest 
and marsh land of the lower Trent. The battle was a desperate one, but 
ended in the death of Ethelfrith, and complete victory of Raedwald. The 
place where the engagement took place is on the banks of the little river 
Idle, and was the first great battle fought between Angles or Englishmen. 

"Foul ran Idle with the blood of Englishmen," 

says an old song. 

On the defeat and death of Ethelfrith, the fierce Deirans rose in arms 
against the house of Ida and called in Edwin, heir to the throne. Not 
content with the latter, he quickly overran Bernicia and ruled jointly over 
the two kingdoms. Making York his capital, the past glory of the old city 
was again revived under his rule. According to Ninnius, his conquest of 
Elmet seems to have immediately preceded his accession to the throne of 
Northumberland, probably on his triumphant march north. Green says, 
" The young king could see from any of the Roman towers of York, a few 
miles to the west, the woodland and moorland of a British realm, and to 
him the most pressing foes were the Celtic people of Elmet, and thus from 


the old city he marched to avenge the murder of his uncle Hereric when in 
exile with his family at the court of Cerdic, king of Elmet." 

Connected as Edwin was with the royal family of Mercia, by his 
marriage with the daughter of Cearl, and with the assistance he would 
naturally obtain from Raedwald, king of the East Angles, his power would 
be quite sufficient to cope with and crush the resistance of Elmet, even 
supposing he accomplished the conquest previous to his accession in 617. 
We have no historical evidence of any battle having been fought ; tradition 
of its conquest is also of the slightest. 

Elmet of that day was vastly different from the Elmet of to-day, with its 
mammoth industries and teeming population. Then, and until centuries 
later, it was one of the loneliest parts of Yorkshire. Shut in by rivers whose 
very form tells of a chain-like series of lyns and almost impenetrable 
morasses, it was surrounded by forest swamp and dreary moorland. Even 
up to the eighteenth century Elmet was a region of desolate moorland. 
Bullerthorpe Common joined 011 to Swillington and Garforth Moor— to 
the east lay Whinmoor, Hook Moor, Bramham Moor, and Blackmoor; to 
the west, joining on to the latter, were Aldwoodley, Eccup, and Adel Moors. 

An old tradition says that Edwin's army approached the stronghold of 
Barwick by way of the old York road, the ancient hollow way, still trace- 
able in many places, which branches out of the Ermine Street, on Bramham 
Moor, and crosses the present York Road, near the four lane ends. Thence 
through the fields and plantations immediately behind Potterton Hall, and 
by the three lane ends, locally known as " Morgan's Cross," it led into a 
dark lane to the fortified enclosure at Barwick. 

Another tradition states that on the night preceding the morrow of 
Edwin's probable assault on the capital, the British with all their movable 
property filed silently out in the darkness unobserved, although in the 
distance the light from the camp fires and innumerable sounds proceeding 
from an army proclaimed the presence of their enemy. Striking west up 
the valley of the Wharfe, they passed over the source of the river and joined 
their kinsmen of the northern Rheged and Cumbria, the first-named district 
stretching from Pendle Hill or the lower Ribble country to the inhospitable 
fells of Westmorland. 

This tradition can be taken for what it is worth, the more probable 
supposition may be that the Britons found they were powerless against an 
enemy of Edwin's strength and ability, knowing the justness of his anger 

38 The old kingdom of elmet. 

against their king, who had, out of great fear, by pressure brought to bear 
on him by the fierce Ethelfrith, slain the prince whom he had passed his 
plighted word to protect. It is also possible that Edwin's quarrel was more 
with Cerdic than the Britons, and the latter, after slight skirmishing, may 
have submitted to the overlordship of Edwin. Ninnius says, " Cerdic was 
expelled from his kingdom, which was occupied by Edwin," and the Annates 
Cambria record his death 616. On the downfall of Elmet, Edwin 
possessed an uninterrupted breadth of territory from sea to sea, even pushing 
his conquest into the territory of Cadwallader, son of his former benefactor. 
Numbers of the British who refused to live in subjection to Edwin's rule 
no doubt found their way to the Welsh kingdom of Cumbria, the northern 
Rheged and Gwynedd, only to return seventeen years later with the 
avenging army of Cadwallader, to be reinstated in their possessions. This 
reconquest by the Celts and death of Edwin will be told a few pages later. 

The Story of Edwin's Conversion and the Destruction of the 
Heathen Temple and Gods at Godmundingham. 

In the first ten years of his reign, Edwin extended his power and 
influence over nearly the whole of Britain ; his kingdom reached from 
central Britain to the Firth of Forth. He was, says Bede, Bretwalda, or 
overlord of every kingdom in England, save Kent, and his reason for non- 
intervention there is obvious. Bede says that " A weake woman might 
have walked with her new-borne babe over all the viand, even from sea to 
sea, without anie damagee or danger." 

For his second wife he espoused Ethelburg, a Kentish princess, and 
with her came Paulinus, the stranger of Edwin's vision. For generations 
later this subtle churchman was well remembered in the north. Paulinus 
is described by Bede as being — 

"gn pevsonne a taulle man, somewhat crooked bach, ano 
black of l)cwe, lene in face, ano Waning a l)ookeo an5 tbm 
nose ; in countenance botf) oreoful ano renetrenf." 

Several years had rolled past since Edwin's accession, and he still worship- 
ped the idols of his people. Many and various were his excuses for not accepting 
Christianity. At last he promised his queen that should he return successful 
from war with the West Saxons, he would then forsake the pagan doctrine 
of his ancestors and worship her God. Yet, although victorious in this war, 
the king still delayed under one pretext or another to embrace Christianity. 
He was waiting for conviction, before taking this all-important decision, 


which was to change the worship of his people, and we cannot but admire 
his discretion on this momentous question. 

During the following winter he spent most of his time in deep medita- 
tion. Two circumstances roused him from this lethargy — one was his 
attempted assassination, from which he escaped by only a hair's-breadth, the 
other circumstance was a conversation with Paulinus, during which that 
crafty churchman, placing his right hand 011 the head of the King, claimed 
the fulfilment of the pledge he had given to the stranger when in exile at 
the court of King Rsedwald. Edwin was visibly impressed, added to which 
was the pleading of his Queen. After another long and anxious deliberation 
on the subject he arranged to receive baptism if the wise men of his kingdom 
should approve. So the wise men of Northumbria were gathered together 
to give their rede on the faith he was about to embrace. 

The place where this memorable Witenagemot took place is supposed 
to have been at Londesborough. The record of the debate is of great 
interest as revealing the sides of Christianity which pressed most on our 
forefathers. To finer minds its charms lay, then as now, in the light it threw 
on the darkness which encompassed men's lives — the darkness of the future, 
as of the past. 

Paulinus having pleaded in favour of Christianity, Coin, the pagan 
high-priest, thus addressed the assembly of wise men: "It seems to me, 
O king, that our paternal gods are worthless, for no man's worship of them 
has been more devout than mine ; yet my lot has been far less prosperous 
than that of many others not half so pious ! " 

A chieftain then spoke— " The life of man, O king, reminds ine of a 
winter feast around your blazing fire, while the storm howls and the snow 
drives abroad. A distressed sparrow darts within the doorway : for a moment 
it is cheered by warmth and shelter from the blast ; then, shooting through 
the other entrance, it is lost again. Such is man. He comes we know not 
whence, hastily snatches a scanty share of worldly pleasure, then goes we 
know not whither. If this new doctrine, therefore, will give us any clearer 
insight into things of so much interest, my feeling is to follow it." 

Before such arguments, resembling strikingly those of Indian warriors, 
Northumbrian paganism fell. Coifi was foremost in making war upon the 
superstition which had so severely baulked his hopes. His priestly character 
obliged him to ride a mare, and forbade him to have a weapon. The people, 
therefore, thought him mad when he appeared upon Edwin's charger, and 
with lance in hand rode furiously to the famous temple at Godmudham, 



pierced the idol through and through, shattering it to pieces, and ordered 
the temple to be demolished and burnt to the ground. Soon afterwards, 
Paulinus kept a most impressive Easter by holding a public baptism at 
York, in which Edwin, his principal men, and multitudes of inferior people, 
were admitted into the Christian church. 

Camden says : " In the Roman times, not far from its bank, upon the 
little river Foulness (where Why ton, a small town but well stocked with 
husbandmen, now stands), formerly stood Delgovitia. The word is said to 
signify the statues or images of the heathen gods. In a little village near 
to stood, in Saxon days, a celebrated idol temple. The name of the place 
is very significant of its use : ' Godmundingham,' now ' Godmudham ' — the 
home of the gods." 

This village is situated on the southern spur of the wold hills. The 
path which we follow from Market Weighton crosses for some little distance 

over meadow fields and into a wind- 
ing lane. The country around' is 
beautiful, fresh, and pleasant. A 
small limpid beck flowing from the 
wold edge winds and prattles under 
the hedgerow by the roadside at 
one's feet, the old church shows out 
finely on the high ground, forming 
with the winding road and village a 
most interesting picture. A gentle 
ascent conducts one up the sinuous 
road into the rural village ; to the 
right, situated amongst the trees, 
lies the rectory. On our left, in a 
meadow we notice some slight irregu- 
larities in the earth. On inquiry 
we are told this spot is called 
the Hall Garth. A few yards on- 
wards the clink of the anvil betokens 
the shop of the village blacksmith, which stands rural enough at the bend in 
the road, and there, before us, high above the village street, stands the 
historical church, lowly and reverent. Like ivy to stone, the romance of 
history seems to cling about its aged walls. 

On our visit the structure was undergoing extensive alterations. Its 
appearance tells its story of antiquity, probably the edifice as it now stands 

E. BoggA 



is early Norman. The font and chancel arch may be earlier, and a few 
other fragments point to even a greater age. As we muse on the scenes 
connected with this spot, the impression is formed in our mind that a church 
has stood on this site since the downfall of paganism. It may stand on the 
very site of the heathen temple destroyed by Coin, the high priest. On that 
point there is not any satisfactory evidence. The sexton tells of large 
quantities of human bones discovered when digging, but nothing pointing 
to the temple has hitherto been found. The building which sheltered the idols 
would, no doubt, be principally of wood, and soon perish. A young girl 
pointed out to us some elevations and depressions in the meadow a little 
distance from the village street and adjoining the south side of the Rectory. 
The peculiarity of the ground here is very significant, and our little guide 
assured us here formerly stood the pagan temple : the ordnance map also 
points to this spot. I also inquired of the farmer ; to my question he 
replied, " Nea yan knaws whear." 

To our thinking the position of the church marks the site of the Angle 
pagan temple. Although not fully satisfied as to the site of the building 
whose destruction marks a great page in our history, the writer turned away 
with feelings of pleasure and interest, for around the village lies the charm 
of that sweet rural simplicity and breath of bygone ages, which cannot fail 
to impress and influence the mind of the visitor. 

The sun of Edwin's splendour was now fast approaching its horizon. 
Green says — " This religious revolution gave a shock to the power which 
he had built up in Britain." Though Paulinus baptised among the Cheviots, 
as on the Swale and other rivers, it was only the men of Deira that followed 
the wish of their king- Storm clouds, presage of disaster and death, were 
fast brewing from the south and west, which were to eventually envelop 
him in their folds. 

Penda, the famous warrior, about this date, 626, had risen to the 
Mercian throne. His first great object seems to have been to throw off the 
overlordship of Edwin. What other feelings of revenge may have rankled 
in his breast against Edwin, history does not say ; although, as the son of 
Wibba, and grandson of Crida, the first Mercian king, his claims to the 
throne of Mercia seem to have been greater than C earl's, the king who 
befriended Edwin when in exile, and who gave Edwin for his first wife 
his daughter, Qucenburga. Naturally, the sympathies of Edwin would be 
with the house of Cearl, in opposition to Penda. Thus, no doubt, a volcanic 
fire of revenge may have been smouldering in the mind of Penda, which, 


afterwards, was to burst with terrible fury on Edwin, and the Angles of 

Yet another king, whom misfortune, and the ingratitude of Edwin, 
rendered a more cruel and bitter enemy to the Angles than even the 
immortal Arthur, like a meteor flits across the history of Northumberland. 
His motive for revenge is more apparent than that of Penda's. 

Edwin, a youth of tender years, a wanderer and fugitive from his 
native soil, as we have before mentioned, found protection with Cad van, 
father of Cadwallader, at this time prince of the north Welsh. For years, he 
was carefully guarded and educated ; and not only Edwin, but, as we have 
observed, all the royal house of Ella found shelter among the Welsh hills. 

It was the outcome of this hospitality of Cadvan to the royal line of 
Ella that eventually brought on their heads the hostility of Ethelfrith, either 
from Cad van's refusal to give up or oust the fugitives ; or, perad venture, 
the apprehension of a league being formed between the Deirans and the 
Welsh, for the restoration of the sons of Ella was the cause of his anger and 
jealousy, which ended in the Angle king's famous inarch across the Pennines; 
and the battle of Chester, which followed, proved so disastrous to the Welsh 
that the city of Chester fell into the hands of Ethelfrith. 

Amongst the slain, that day, were twelve hundred British monks, who 
had repaired to the field of battle to pray for the success of their countrymen, 
and, as they stood some distance from the fray, with arms upraised in prayer 
and supplication, — " Who are all these numbers of unarmed men?" the 
king inquired. 

" Monks," was the reply, " come hither, after three days' fasting, to 
pray for the success of their countrymen." 

The fierce pagan warrior ordered his soldiers to slay them in the coming 
fight : " Bear they arms, or no," said he, " they fight against us when they 
cry against us to their God." 

This great disaster, which overtook the monks of Bangor, has generally 
been attributed to the intrigues of Augustine, who, however, was altogether 
guiltless. It was his violent antipathy and unwarrantable claims of juris- 
diction over the Celtic Church, which caused this suspicion. 

To return from our digression, which is only to prove that Cadwallader, 
who had just claims on the friendship of Edwin, received, instead, the yoke 
of a master and ambitious overlord, who not only made war on the son of 
his former host, but chased him oiit of his own kingdom, Gwynedd (north 
Wales), the fair district or region of quiet waters. 


In the army of Cadwallader, doubtless, would be numbers of refugees 
from Elmet, who would fly hither for protection and assistance, recognising 
in this chieftain the only hope of regaining their kingdom. Thus came about, 
but from vastly different motives, the confederacy of the two kings, Penda, 
the pagan Mercian, and Cadwallader, the Christian, — the first thirsting with 
ambition and conquest, the other burning to avenge the wrongs of his 
countrymen against all the nation of Angles, besides the chance of 
winning back the land of Elmet, and the country to the west, which 
Kthelfrith and Edwin had wrested from the Britons. A strange compact, 
indeed, was this, but one which, for the time being, changed the face of 
the north. 

The two kings met the Northumbrians, led by Edwin, at Hatfield or 
Heathfield Chase, just to the south of the Don, a region of river and morass, 
alive with fish and wild fowl, even down to the sixteenth century tenanted 
with deer, said to be as plentiful as sheep on a hill at this period. 

Edwin, no doubt, held the only available gateway into Northumbria 
(the strip of land where, in former times, the Brigantes had defied the strong 
arm of Rome), and thus drew the combined force of Welsh and Mercians into 
the Fen land, hoping to crush his assailants more easily, as they struggled 
confusedly across the sopping, peaty, pathless moor, " which rose and fell," 
so said the natives, " with the tidal waters of the rivers which ran through." 
Camden, in his time, speaks of this district as a collection of river islands, 
floating on wide stretches of water. Edwin, having drawn them on to the 
chase or fen, crossed the Don at Stainforth (the paved ford), somewhere 
near the present town of Hatfield. The two armies met, and a desperate 
battle ended in the defeat of the Northumbrians, and the death of Edwin. 

The men of Powys so distinguished themselves by their valour on that 
field, that they obtained from Cadwallon* a boon of fourteen privileges. 

On Hatfield Chase, slight evidences of the entrenchments are still to 
be seen. 

The death of Edwin proved the ruin of his house ; his queen, with her 
two children, accompanied by Paulinus, fled south to her brother in Kent, 
paganism and confusion again reigned supreme. 

As prearranged between the two confederates, Cadwallon now marched 
his army north across the Aire valley, reinstating the Celts in their kingdom 
of Elmet, and, marching on York, drove out the defenders and made the old 
city his headquarters. Here Osric, who had ascended the throne of Deira, 
attempted to oust the Britons. In the battle which took place outside the 

* Cadwallader or Cadwallon, variously spelt. 



walls, the Deirans were routed and Osric slain. Eanfrid, king of Bernicia, 
suffered the same fate, he having come with only twelve soldiers to crave 
peace from the British king. Instead of peace, he and his little escort were 
put to death at the instigation of Cadwallader. The rule of these two kings, 
Osric and Eanfrid, and the story of the miserable year of 634, when Britons 
overran Northnmbria, was not forgotten for generations later. The sword 
of Cadwallader seemed to be destined to drive out the Angle and reinstate the 
Celt, not only in Elmet but also in his beloved fatherland, Deifyr and 
Bryneich. Three kings had already been offered as a sacrifice, and the 


hopes of the Cymry revived in this chief. " Triumphant," says Turner, 
" with the fame of fourteen great battles and sixty skirmishes, this Celtic 
prince spread fear over all the north." Growing careless and intoxicated 
with success, he rashly gave battle to Oswald, the successor of Eanfrid, who 
had taken the field and secured a strong position on the north bank of the 
Tyne, and there calmly awaited the advance of his foes. The battle proved 
disastrous to the Celt. Cadwallader and the strength of his arm}' perished, 
and with his fall the hopes of the Cymry to return to their homeland, 
Deifyr and Brynaic, districts which they regarded and loved above all others, 
never again became possible. 

This campaign marks the last great effort of the Celt to oust the Angle 
from Northumbria, and the determination and zeal of this last effort proves 


their tenacity and grip by keeping possession of the land between the 
Hnmber and Tyne for over a period of twelve months. 

'Tis a strange and terrible story, that long struggle of rival races, but 
with the battle of * Heavenfield ' the strength of the Cyniry was exhausted. 
From henceforth all their efforts were required to guard the Welsh border. 

How long the Britons held unlimited sway over Elmet after this date 
we have no exact knowledge. It is possible they kept the Angles at bay 
along the frontier until the death of Penda, at the battle of Whinmoor, 
removed the last of the two great antagonists who had overshadowed and 
awed Northumbria for thirty years. Oswald of Northumbria, whose fame 
as a warrior and great king was only eclipsed by his religious fervour, met 
the same fate as Edwin. He was slain in the fight with Penda, at the battle 
of Maserfeld, 642, and again the grim old pagan carried war and desolation 
across the land of Northumbria, and generations later the young people 
shuddered when seated round the blazing hearth-fire, listening to their 
grandsire's story of the cruel pagan. If the victory of Cadwallader and Penda 
over Edwin at Heathfield resulted in the winning back of Elmet to the Celt, 
the battle of Whinmoor would result in a loss to a lesser or greater extent of 
their independence. 

Hoary with the age of eighty winters, Penda again determined to invade 
Northumbria. The strife which then began between the two Angle 
kingdoms was for supremacy over East Anglia. Penda was the first to 
take the field and march north, plundering and destroying with fire and 
sword along the route. His army seems to have crossed the Aire by the 
Roman way w 7 hich leads right into the heart of Elmet. This road, as we 
have previously mentioned crosses the river Cock between old Manston and 
Stanks and aims direct to Scholes, and thence on to Whinmoor, where the 
engagement is supposed to have been fought. There is ample space on this 
wide heath for the disposition of an army. In the Annals of Cambria we 
are told that king Oswy's headquarters were near to a place named Euden 
(Eoidis — Eeeds) and the battle was fought on the field of Giti or Witi, 
evidently Witi, afterwards receiving its terminal "kirk" when a church 
was added to the village, hence Whitkirk, and Whinmoor of that day would 
reach to beyond Whitkirk. No doubt the fight and chase of the Mercians 
would be continued as far as the river Aire, across which lay the only hope 
of escape to the vanquished. 

The Annals of Cambria also says that Penda's army was encamped 
before the battle at Mann (now Manston), a name which speaks plainly 

4 6 


enough of a Celtic 'maen' — a boundary stone. This shows us that Penda 
entered Elmet by the Roman road, and his headquarters, previous to the 
battle, were on the high ridge between Manston and Halton. 

Thoresby mentions a Saxon fortification, visible in his time, at Gipton, 
which we ma}' reasonably suppose to have been the encampment of Oswy, 
whose army was vastly inferior to Penda's, and who, on the approach of the 
Mercians, fell back to Potterton, where, in the event of defeat, his line of 
retreat by the Ermine Street to York, would be kept open. There are yet 
to be seen in a wood, known as Manor Wood, at Potterton, remains of a 
strong entrenched position, the fighting platform facing on to Whinmoor. 

These earthworks are 
very significant, and 
point strongly to an 
enemy approaching the 
moor by the Roman way. 
Here, also, by the 
entrenchments, is tra- 
ditionally supposed to 
have stood the monastery 
of Thridwulf,* in the 
wood of Elmet, men- 
tioned by Bede. Three 
stone coffins have been 
unearthed in the vicinity 
of Manor Garth Wood, 
one of which is still to be 
seen in the yard of a 
house adjoining the hall. 
Here are also several 
relics which point to the 
former existence of a 
religious house in this 
vicinity. In the 
wood, some years ago, 

* "In the life of St. Gildas, who lived in the fifth century, it is said that his brother, 
Mailoc, after being instructed in sacred learning, came to Luihes, in the district of Elmail. 
and there built a monastery, in which, continually serving God with prayer, praise, and 
fasting, he rested at length in peace." Perhaps a mistake of one letter has been made 
in each of these names, and that for Luihes and Klmail we should read guides and 
Elmad, i.e., Leeds and Elmet. 


there was found a beautifully finished axe, very sharp, formed out of a 
volcanic stone from the north of Scotland. This weapon was purchased by 
the late John Holmes, of Roundhay. 

But to return to our subject. In vain Oswy tried, by every means in 
his power, to conciliate the Mercian king by the offer of gold and silver 
ornaments, and other costly gifts. An old MS. of the tenth century says 
that " Osguid sent all the wealth which was with him to Penda, and Penda 
distributed it to the kings of the Britons." From this are we to understand 
that Oswin gave Penda the ransom, but still the old pagan refused to make 
peace ? 

Bede says that necessity compelled him so far as to promise to give 
greater gifts than can be imagined, to purchase peace, all of which Penda 
refused, having resolved to utterly destroy the kingdom of Northumbria, 
and exterminate the people. 

Seeing the uselessness of his offers, Oswy cried, " If the pagans will not 
accept our gifts, let us offer them to one who will," vowing, at the same 
time, that if successful he would dedicate his daughter to God, and endow 
twelve monasteries in his realm. The Northumbrian army was only small 
compared with the hosts of the Mercians ; but, putting their trust in God, 
they boldly prepared for battle. The dreadful fight took place on the 15th 
November, 655. In vain the Mercians tried to penetrate the ranks of 
Oswy's army. 

The power of paganism received its death-blow when he, who for fifty 
years had been the cause of so much misery and bloodshed, lay with his 
commanders and thousands of his army a ghastly and confused heap of slain, 
their blood changing the waters of the little rivulet to crimson. The wreck 
of the Mercian army fled southward, and in their frantic rush from the 
battle many fell into the river Cock, and were trampled underfoot until 
their bodies formed a bridge for their flying comrades, who in their turn 
were swept away and drowned, in attempting to cross the swollen waters 
of the river Aire. 

" In Winwidfield was amply avenged the blood of Anna, the blood of 
the kings, Bgric, Oswald, and Edwin." Soon after his great victory, Oswy 
sent his little daughter Ethelfleda to the monastery over which presided the 
sainted Hild, whilst the lands and other goods he gave were the means by 
which the noble abbey was built on the summit of the cliff overlooking 


Towards the upper reaches of the Cock rivulet, the stream has furrowed 
out a deep channel through the moor, which is seen to advantage where the 
present York Road crosses the stream, still known as Grimes Dyke. The 
natives associate the word Grime with the discolouring of the stream by the 
blood and bodies of the slain from the Whiumoor fight. The name is 
obtained from the Anglo-Saxon r< Grimes-die " (a deep ditch forming a 
boundary), and from the same source we obtain " Grime"— a witch. 

From thence, the beck curves its deeply furrowed way, like the bend of 
a bow, through the land. In the far-off times, its pent-up waters formed a 
chain of lakes, a natural boundary, as we find in its lower reaches unto this 
day. Thus we have, in this Grimesdyke, a name which has lasted through 
centuries, a boundary line of the Saxon. 

It is traditionally supposed that the battle of Whiumoor took place on 
the high ground immediately to the east of Grimesdyke. In the rush from 
the field, the flying Mercians would have the deep hollow of the beck to 
cross, the Vinwsed or Winwaed of the historian (not the name of a river, 
but " the ford of the battle"). Here great numbers w T ould perish in the 
water, or be trampled underfoot by their flying companions, who, in turn, 
would be swept away and perish in their attempt to cross the Aire. 

In the garden adjoining a small cottage, a few hundred yards to the 
west of the beck, is an old disused well, known as Penda's Well. I^ocal 
tradition says that the Mercians quenched their thirst at this well. 

On the north side of Crossgates, and two miles from the battle-field, 
there is a spot known as Hell Dyke or Garth ; here, it is said, according to 
an old tradition, numbers of the slain were buried. The Anglo-Saxon " hel " 
is indicative of the grave (the strand of the dead, the shadowy realm without 
sun, or the glory of war, feast, and revelry). 

Hungerhills, to the west of Stanks, is the supposed site of Penda's 
encampment; and " Soldiers' Field," in this district, either points to this 
battle or some later engagement. 

Places in Elmet suggesting the Name of a People — the 
original inhabitants of this kingdom. 

There are, at least, five place-names in this district, all derived from 
one source, pointing to the name of the aboriginal race, whose date of 
immigration into Elmet reaches beyond our earliest records, and which 
establish, beyond dispute, both the kingdom and the name of its people. 
The name of L,eeds is a wide-spreading memorial of this ancient tribe, a 



name which, although slightly transitional, is to be traced over two thousand 
years. Fourteen hundred years ago, there existed in Elmet, as we find 
to-day (yet under strangely altered circumstances), at least five settlements, 
all suggesting the name of a people, namely, the Ludees — "Ledes" (now 
Leeds city), Ledely (now Leathley), Lede (now Lead), Lede (Ledsham) ; 
the affix ' ham ' tacked on is a Saxon word denoting the ham (heim) of the 
Ledes ; Ledes-ton bears the same meaning in its terminal, ' ton ' ; or it may 
be the Angles have settled on the former site of Celtic occupation. 

Edwin Guest says — " The three early colonising races were known as 
the Cymbry, the Lloegyrings, and the Brythons." It is the men of Llcegyr 

that concerns our subject, a people 
originally dwelling in the basin of 
the Ebro and the Garonne, previous 
to their settlement in Britain. It 
is not a far cry from the Lcegrwys 
— Ligurians to Ligures — Ludees — 
Loidis — Ledes Caer-Loid-Coit of 
the old historian, is simply the Caer 
of the Ludees or Loidis, a people 
dwelling in the wood of Elmet. 

I am here conscious of trespas- 
sing on debatable ground, but from 
actual survey of sites, and the 
consulting of many authorities, 
I have sketched out the 
kingdom and its people as realistically as imagination can depict. It 
may be that the true etymology of the word Loides or Leedes is lost in the 
mists of antiquity. Were the Ligures from the region of the later Gascony, 
a branch of the Brigantes, as we are led to suppose the Parisees of Holder- 
ness were ; and were they the ancestors of the Leods, Loidis, or Ledes 
people, dwelling in Elmet in Bede's day? — are the questions which remain to 
be answered. 

From whatever tribe or nation these ancient dwellers in Elmet may 
have originally sprung, they have left behind a name not likely to perish 
for ages to come ; the name of a people given to the districts which were 
allotted to them, on their final subjection to the Anglian people ; namely, 
Leeds, Ledely, Lead, Ledes-ham, and Ledes-ton. 



50 the old kingdom of elmet. 

The Name Elmet. 
Kemble says the Elmedsetan (Setna) — that is, the people of Elmet, the 
ancient British Iyoidis — was an independent district in Yorkshire. We have 
before mentioned that the Celts of Elmet observed the forms of early Chris- 
tianity from its first introduction into Britain. ' El' is one designation of 
the Supreme Being ; " Metae " is the place of wisdom where the holy people 
assembled ; the Holwara folk of the Riding ; Hcelymete — land used for 
holy purposes. 

Camden, speaking of this district, says — " The country for a little way 
about Winwidfield . . . was anciently called Elmet." 

The Venerable Bede refers to it as the " Sylva Elmetse " ; he further 
says that "the monastery of the most revered Abbot and Priest, Thridwulf, 
stood in the wood of Elmete." 

Thoresby says the word means frondulous — full of branches.* 

The Cornish * Dewedh ' means an end or limit, 'Demetais' are the 

men of Demet, or Eand's End. ' Ell ' — a Saxon measure, ' Met ' — an extremity 

or limit; Elmet, Elmy, EPmi— the boundary kingdom. 

The right upon which the kingdom of Elmet claims its recognition 
is not that which belongs to its regality, for its kings in full strength were 
little more than chieftains, and its throne has never been more than the seat 
of a Regulus (a petty king). Its war force has, probably, been very signi- 
ficant, judging from the earthworks reaching from L,othertou and Hazelwood 
to that more stupendous creation in the meadows of Barwick. Yet, in the 
progress of nations, they count for but little. Its armies, in full strength, 
probably numbered not more than a thousand or fifteen hundred men ; its 
victories and defeats were mere skirmishes ; its wealth, the corn and cattle 
of a few hundred husbandmen ; its greatest length two score miles, its 
breadth not more than one score ; its soil varying from the fertility of a 
garden to vast reaches of desolate moorland and rugged hill and wild 
forest, or back to the east, into the adjacent plains, a region of lagoon and 
swamp, into which, sullenly, the rivers drained. 

To Roman, Saxon, or Dane, in its greatest prosperity, it was hardly 
worth much consideration ; hence the scarcity of Angle settlement. It was 
merely a retreat and place of refuge for the vanquished Celt. And yet it is 
possessed of a fame that must continue fresh and green. As long as the 
story of England's growth is worth telling, not only of the devotion of a 

* Frondosus—h\W of leaves. 


people clinging to their fatherland, but wherever the glorious records of 
Christian devotion stir the hearts of men, will the story of Elmet be told, 
for it is written deeply in the annals of the Cross — the one bright spot 
in the surrounding darkness of paganism and ignorance, which for three 
centuries overshadowed Northumbria. 

Barwick may owe one of its ancient emblems to the pomp and 
custom of Edwin. This Anglian king, the conqueror of Elmet (Bede 
states), lived in suchs plendour, that he had not only standards carried in 
time of war, but also in times of peace ; when he travelled in state through the 
provinces and the streets of his capital he had always a standard carried before 
him — the Roman Tufa — the English Toup. This kind of standard was 
made of feathers of various colours, a globe-like tuft, fixed on the end 
of a long pole. Barwick Feast is still one of the most celebrated of our 
ancient revels ; its Maypole has long been one of its suggestive ornaments. 
Who shall say that King Edwin's Tufa has not graced the original 
Maypole, and that the sumptuous feast is not the direct survival of 
Edwin's rejoicings? 

The conquest of England, by the Normans, gave the coup de grace to the 
kingdom of Elmet. By that tremendous overthrow Celt, Saxon, and Dane 
were in one " red burial blent," to live no more in their individuality, but 
in amalgamation to come forth a great people, full of a strength that has 
since shaken not only their oppressors, but the whole world beside. The 
Tufa is no longer borne through its streets, heralding the progress of an 
arbitrary monarch ; but every child who plays there now is a monarch whose 
Tufa is Liberty, and for whom home is raised by unshackled energy. 

Amid the storms of fifteen centuries, Wendell Hill (" Auld Howe") 
has reared its grassy head above time and tide. For nearly as many centuries 
the vesper bell has called the villagers to prayer, as well from the royal 
mansion, and the serfs cot in the woods, as from the happier hearths 
that know little of mouarchs and serfs. The same church of All 
Hallows which received royal worshippers when Abbot Thrydwulf's little 
monastery held God-fearing men, still knows God's service and resounds 
with the hymn of praise. Like its equally celebrated sister church of 
Sherburn, that of Barwick has been prominent as a stately edifice in pre- 
conquest days. L,ong before Brunanburgh was fought, the former had a 
peal of bells and a sumptuous equipment. To Barwick we may safely 
ascribe an equally distinguished possession. It matters little whether the 
Celts received their Christianity from the Romans, or gave theirs to the 



legionaries, through the influence of the Empress Helena and Constautine. 
What appears to be indisputable is that the Elmet churches of All Hallows 
at Sherburn and Barwick register a Christianity at least coeval with, if 
not established before Rome could boast of a similar temple.* 


This statement is not made haphazard. The church of St. John Lateran, the 
finest, and perhaps the oldest church in Rome, was built by Constautine the Great, a few 
years before a.d. 320, when it is more than probable that the Empress Helena and her son, 
Constautine, had countenanced and supported Christianity in Britain. Constantine was in 
York with his father, the Emperor Coustantius Chlorus, when the latter died in 306. If we 
may push our speculation one step further, may we not say that under the shadow of Wendell - 
Hill the Christian Empress Helena and her Christian son, as the guests of the Regulus, who 
paid them tribute, are very likely indeed to have witnessed the earliest of the Celebrations 
on the Altar that had supplanted the ministratious of the Druids. Constautine the Great 
was chosen Emperor in York, where his mother's name was revered, and especially by her 
British subjects. 


History, Antiquities, and General Description 
of Elmet. 

IN our brief description of Elmet as seen to-day, we commence our 
tour on the north bank of the Aire at Cookridge, and follow the 
watershed of the small stream known as Adel, Meanwood, or Lady 
Beck, which flows through an important valley, both historically and 
geographically. After a course of some seven miles the stream enters the 
river Aire, just to the south of the Leeds Parish Church. 

Cookridge, Adel, and Breary, places of a very ancient population, are 
situated on the upper reaches of the watershed of this beck. All along the 
hill slopes, from Aldwoodley Moor to Bramhope and Cookridge, there are 
traces of Roman, Celtic, Anglian, and Norman people. The views from here, 
when the atmosphere is clear, are fine, bold, and sweeping. The wooded 
vale of Meanwood and the city of Leeds in one direction, and opposite, in 
the foreground, are dark patches of pine woods ; and beyond, over the high 
brow of Bramhope, AlmesclifTe and the moors westward, to Great Whern- 
side. To the north-east we look far away over the great plain of York, and 
obtain glimpses of the dim blue outline of Hambleton and the Wolds. 

In our path to Cookridge, we pass through the woods formerly belonging 
to the abbey of Kirkstall, rich in foliage, dense undergrowth, and of 
romantic contour. Deep down in the vale, resting amid murky surroundings, 
stand the ruins of the once noble abbey of Kirkstall. But what a strange 
contrast this place presents to the time when the ancient churchmen trod 
the hallowed ground ! At that period, the Aire, the most delightful of 
rivers (bright, shining water), did not, as now, belie its name. Around it 
were lush meadows and delightful vistas of river, glen, moor, and woodland, 
undenled by the smoke of a thousand chimneys, factories, or the belching forth 
of black fumes from forges, such as we see to-day — strange contrast, indeed ! 



If we could but induce some of the old abbots to return from shadowland, 
what stories we might learn of the abbey's history. But those who are gone 
do not return from their bourn, even to tell us of the doings of the 
past; so we leave Alexander the Abbot, and his patron, Henry de Lacie, 
Parson Peter, Robert the Priest, and a host of other clerics and notables, 
who gave lands and goods to the upbuilding of this church for their souls' 
welfare, to rest in peace ; and pass on to Cookridge. 

Some two miles north from Kirkstall is Cookridge Convalescent Home, 
standing oil a fine elevation in the woods. Though rather remote, the 
situation of Cookridge is the 
most salubrious and delight- 
ful in the borough of Leeds, 
and the Home is of great 
benefit to the poor of the 

Cookridge Hall, once 
the home of Edward Shef- 
field, Duke of Buckingham, 
is a fine residence, built on 
an ancient foundation, with 
many Roman touches 
around it ; also vestiges of a 
British settlement (founda- 
tion of hut dwellings) have 
been discovered in the woods 

Simpson says Cook- 
ridge derives its name from 
the Saxon Geac-hrig or rig 
(the Geac-rig — a way). The 
old forms of spelling are 
Cuk-rig and Cueryc, the 
latter syllable implying the 
Saxon "ric" or government, 
which gives an individuality 
to this place which cannot 

be overlooked, however it may be explained. It was evidently a seat of 
power in Roman-Celtic times. Of this prominence strong evidence has been 
obtained from time to time. 




During the 17th century, a great number of coins were turned up by 
the plough, chiefly of the reigns of Domitian Nerva, Trajan and Adrian, all 
in fair preservation. The Norman tenants (Cukryc) were a family which did 
not long preserve their identity hereabouts ; Richard-de-Cukerigh appears 
about 1 180. The monks of Kirkstall were not slow to lay their hands upon 
this fair domain, which became one of their closely preserved hunting grounds. 
An early charter says that " Roger Mustell gave to the house at Kirkstall, 
the Barony of Cokryge, with mill and all other appurtenances." 

From Cookridge, we pass on to Breary and Echope. At the Domesday 
Survey, both places were included in the possession of one Alward, a Dane. 

In the Confessors' reign, the 
total value of these places was 
sixty shillings. Attached to the 
end of the brief Domesday 
record is the ominous word 
' waste,' showing how severely 
the vengeance of the Norman 
king had fallen on these places. 
Breary, or Brerehayh, gave 
its name to a family who 
resided here for many centu- 
ries. In the reign of Edward 
III., a Robert Brerehaugh 
married Agnes, daughter and 
heiress of Richard Frank, 
possibly the ancestor of the 
Franks who afterwards became 
possessed of Aldwoodley. 

In our walk to Blackhill 
we notice the fine length of 
old road which we traverse 
from the Willows to the upper 
dam, where the exquisite blen- 
ding of wood and water is 
apparent to all. By the road 
side, opposite the wood at 
Blackhill, is an old time-worn 
milestone, which previously has been used for some other purpose. 

:, ..:,,,.>-_ 

■ft? 1 * ^ * r **f| 

'• :, v-.. 

jffl I 6^3 





Hereabouts we are passing over sites of very ancient occupation. In 
the by-lane running from hence to Echope, we notice, built into the wall of 
a farm, the almost perfect base of a cross, which rests upon a stone of much 
larger dimension, the latter being below the level of the ground. The base 
of the cross is octagonal. From the situation and the careful manner in 
which the wall has been built over it, it is evident that this has been the 
original position of the cross. The socket of the shaft is still left open, and 
in rebuilding the wall care has evidently been taken to preserve the relic. 
Part of the farm 
has been rebuilt 
and other por- 
tions restored 
during the last 
century and 
numerous frag- 
ments of stone 
from some an- 
cient building 
have been 
placed in the 
walls, and here 
probably might 
be found por- 
tions of the 
shaft of the 
above - named 

4. s. 


There are several traditions respecting Blackhill, one of which points 
to a settlement of the Brigantes on or near this spot, in the early Roman 
period, which required a camp and the. imperial troop in this vicinity to 
overawe. Another story runs that a pre-Norman church stood on 

Besides numerous Roman-Celtic relics, funereal urns and querns, etc., 
foundations of ancient walls unearthed in this vicinity, and fragments of 
Saxon wheel crosses, added to the remains of the base already alluded to, 
point significantly to a Christian temple having stood hereabouts. Thus it 
is quite possible that Norman Adel may have been constructed of material 



from the Roman camp and the settlement on Blackhill, both of which stood 
on the north side of a long and almost impassable swamp which cut the 
connection with the present site, Adel. 

To the above evidences we learn that in the Confessors' reign the total 
value of Adel is described as only one-half that of the adjoining places of 
Cookridge and Burgdunnm. 

^ou? Katrrcmr 

A. S. 


Immediately north of Blackhill stands the obscure village of Echope or 
Hccup, resting on the edge of a narrow ravine, down which a small beck 
meanders to the bed of what was formerly a large mere, now formed into a 
Leeds reservoir. Echope means "the narrow valley on the eminence 
abounding with oaks." ' Ec ' or ' ack '—oak, and ' hope ' — up ; i.e., the 
oak-place on the up or higher position. The legendary name, as its root- 
word testifies, goes back to Celtic times. 

The prospect from the commanding situation on a fine spring day is 
delightfully grand. Seen at twilight, when the moonbeams shimmer on the 
lake, the cottages fringing the edge of the little romantic gorge, with here 
and there a tree etched definitely against the silver sky, the picture 
presents a scene strangely weird, yet beautiful. An ancient " pillar stone " 


was found here, some time ago, about two feet six inches square, with a 
hole perforated in the centre. 

Apart from the Norman church at Adel there is no building in the 
district between Cookridge and Echope of great interest, age, or of 
architectural importance. The farms and cottages are sparsely scattered, 
and in winter time the district has a solitary note and forbidding aspect 
which the dense, dark fir woods help to deepen. To the artist the chief 
interest centres in the upper dam at Adel down to Scotland Mill, near 
Meanwood. To the antiquary and historian every yard of ground speaks 
eloquently of past ages. One mile in the direction of Chapeltown, over 
pleasant field paths, brings us into the township of Aldwoodley, the 
undulating wold land. The old form of the name was Alwaldley, most 
likely " the old hill district," * an interpretation that may give the 
meaning hidden in the formation of a later military station at Adel. 

Aldwoodley Hall was a place of consequence in the Plantagenet era, 
when it was inhabited by the responsible family of Franks, the " free," in 
contrast to the neighbouring serfs. They mated with the Gascoignes and 
helped largely to increase the wealth of that meritorious family. It was 
long the seat of an important family bearing the same name. Appended 
as witness to a deed of the Abbey of Kirkstall is the name of Henrico-de- 
Alwoldley and another bearing the name of Willo-de-Alwaldeleye. 

The estate came into the hands of the Franks by the marriage of 
William Frank, son and heir of Robert Frank, with Alice, eldest daughter 
and heiress of Roger-de-Aldwoodly. 

In 1638 this manor was sold by the Franks to Sir Gervase Clifton, a 
gentleman remarkable for having married seven wives. Hopkinson say s of 
him — " He was a complete gentleman and darling of all men;" we might 
safely add — " and the beloved of many women." His first wife, whom he 
called his beautiful Penelope, is said to have been the greatest beauty of the 
age, not only in body, but also in mind. She died in 1613, at the early age 
of twenty-three. 

The site of the old Hall is just to the north of the Roman road 
running over the moor to Brandon, and on the first ascent from the sheltered 

♦ As referring to one of the changes of frontier and that sufficiently important we may 
take the case of Aldwoodley. The Domesday form of the word is Alimoldelei, "the old wold 
district," the Angle Eald-wald-lega, presumably an indicated contrast with the "Herewod" 
which represented a change wherein the Angle soldiery and military government were 



basin of the vale. The ancient Hall was pulled down early in the 
last century. A few relics still remain, a pointed arch and triple 
window, also the site of the antique garden of Tudor period, with the wall, 
remains. The present Hall, partly bnilt on the site of the old one, has 
begun to assume a dilapidated and neglected appearance.* 

In onr walk to the camp at Adel, we follow the line of the Roman 
vicinal, portions of which, of late years, have often been laid bare during 
the cultivation of the land over which it runs. 

Of Adel as a Roman station we have unquestionable proofs, for on the 
roadside leading to Echope, and jnst beyond the mill, the camp can yet be 
clearly defined, and 
shows a double agger 
and the remains of an 
aqueduct. It has been 
larger than that of Ilk- 
ley, but probably not 
its equal in military 
importance. In break- 
ing up the moor, east 
of the camp, many 
footprints of Roman 
occupation were un- 
earthed, amongst 
others several monu- 
ments and fragments 
of urns, statues, coins, 

The imperial gar- 
rison at this station 
seems to have kept an 
equal grip upon the vales of the Aire and Wharfe. The Roman name of 

* The Franks established a branch at Aldwardeley, between Leeds and Harewood, and 
through it became of territorial consequence. In the Selby Coucher Book, page 97, there is 
a long account of an' inquest (26th August, 1441), touching the thefts of sixty two-year-old 
sheep, of the price of 2od. per head, the property of William Frank, apud Almley juxta 
Harwode. The inquest, which is well worth reading for sundry reasons, was taken before 
Henry Vavasour, then Escheator for Co. York. 

t The relics found about Adel are to be seen in the small museum of antiquities, standing 
by the entrance to the churchyard. 






Percy Robinson. 



the station — Burgdunum, suggests a rather late origin, its last syllables, 
41 dunum," being the latinisation of the Celtic " dun " — a hill. 

From the many vestiges of British names still remaining hereabouts, 
we may venture to assume, as already mentioned, that the Brigantes held a 
strong position on the hill range over which this road passed to Calcaria. 
Anyone who will examine the site of the camp will at once notice how wise 
the selection has been. The situation is rising ground, on the north bend of 
a deep valley, which in the far-off days was, from appearances, probably an 
impassable swamp. 

One of the 
objects of the gar- 
rison appears to 
have been to watch 
the undulating 
land lying be- 
tween the Wharfe 
and the Aire, 
about where the 
Celtic tribesmen 
of Elmet were 
rather thickly lo- 

The Roman 
call is, or roadway, 
which some 
writers say ran 
from Adel to the 
ford over the Aire, 
at L,eeds, is said to retain its identity in Call L,ane.* Supposing this tradition 
to be correct, the roadway had not been of much importance during the 
imperial occupation, although the debris and remains of ironstone mines, 
found so plentifully about Call Lane, show that the mineral riches of the 
district were discovered and perhaps worked under Roman supervision. 

Strange indeed are the changes which have taken place since the 
legions of the mighty Caesars held sway here, and it requires some amount 
of fancy and imagination to picture the scene and repeople this camp with 
the activity, pomp, and circumstance of military life. Then would be heard 

* The writer has not seen any vestiges of this, and doubts the existence of such a road. 



the stately tramp of armies, the fluttering of eagle- crested banners, the 
passing to and fro of couriers and speeding of chariots, and ever and anon 
the sound of battle, the clash of arms, the despair of the vanquished and 
fierce exultant shouts of the victors. 

Centuries ago the bodies of the legionaries returned to the dust from 
whence they sprang; but Adel still remains a silent testimony of the 
engineering skill of the Roman and his mastership in the art of war. It 
also points out the mockery of man's boasted strength, wherein can be read 
in plain and impressive characters : "The vanity of earth and all that rests 
thereon. " 

The church of St. John of Adel, just a few hundred yards to the south- 
east of the camp, stands on a high plateau amidst charming surroundings. 
It is one of the finest architectural structures that Norman genius has 
bequeathed to our time. This church and half the village of Adel are 
included among the possessions of Holy Trinity Priory, York, given to the 
Priory by Ralph Paganel and confirmed by Pope Alexander II. The 
Priory appointed its curates here from A.D. 1242 or earlier. To this day 
a pension of six pounds, thirteen shillings and fourpence— a fine, it is said, 
levied on some refractory rector, is annually paid by the Rector of Adel 
to the Dean and Chapter of Christ's Church, Oxford, who have succeeded 
to the property ; the advowson has fallen into private hands. 

It would be impossible to particularise in detail the artistic work, 
exquisite design, and symbolic grandeur which adorn this sacred edifice. 
The most striking object of the exterior is the magnificent doorway, 
consisting of five semicircular receding arches richly decorated with zigzag 
and beak-head moulding, enclosed by an ornately sculptural gabled 
pediment, from the apex of which the image of Satan scowls down— a 
picture of awful malignity and venom — on the good work he sees progressing 
but cannot hinder. Immediately below this head rests the Cross and the 
Lamb of God with banner triumphant, on either side of which are the sun 
and moon, underneath the figure of the Son of Man on His throne ; the 
figures on either side represent the four evangelists, symbolised by an eagle 
for St. John, a bull for St. Luke, a lion for St. Mark, a human face with the 
wings of an angel for St. Matthew, and a lamb for our Saviour .Altogether 
it is one of the most treasured doorways in this country. The grotesque 
and repulsive heads sculptured on the corbel line are also very interesting. 
The door handle is of fine bronze and a rare piece of craftsmanship, worked 
around with artistic and elaborate tracery. The same demoniac image of 



Satan, a compound of human and fiend, that we see on the apex of the gabled 
pediment, glares from the door handle as the worshippers enter the building. 
From the evidence of this unique handle, we are led to suppose this church 
has in olden times been a place of sanctuary, thus connecting this edifice 
with that story of Biblical days and the picture of the fugitives fleeing hither 
for refuge.* 

* TL&ffi * * /RJB^r ^ i- ,•>*$ jl ] 

S. IF. 


The carving of the interior is quite as interesting, symbolic and 
beautiful as the exterior, the admiration culminating in the magnificent 
Norman chancel arch. Simpson says : — "This magnificent structure strikes 
us unaware. Turning from the font eastwards, we deliberately survey it. 
We make our gradual approaches nearer and nearer, till we are enabled to 
decipher the beautiful symbolism with which it is embellished." It recedes, 
as the spectator will observe, in three orders. The outermost displays a 
fine course of the dog-tooth moulding, crowning the arch, as it were, with 
a graceful touch of delicacy. 

* On the sun-dial in the churchyard is the following expressive motto :'— lt Ut hora sicvita" 
(As the hour, so is the life). 



We have previously mentioned the existence of numerous relics found 
in this district, now contained in the little museum adjoining the churchyard, 
permission to inspect which can be obtained on application to the rector. 
These relics tell the story of the district a thousand years previous to the 
coming of the Norman, and point to the settlement of four distinct peoples— the 
Celt, Roman, Saxon, and Dane. Adding this to the testimony contained in 
the chaste and beautiful Norman fabric, we obtain a history of Adel for nigh 
twenty centuries. 

The stone fences in this locality contain numerous stones which have 
evidently been quarried and prepared, in the first instance, for some other 
purpose. Existence of a supposed 
British village, *>., remains of pit 
hut dwellings, were to be seen just 
to the east of the church, until 
they were filled up recently ; and 
on the moorland which has been 
reclaimed, around the reformatory, 
there have, at different times, been 
found scrapers, flint arrow heads, 
spears, stone hammers, and other 
pre-historic implements : of these 
the Philosophical Society possess 
about fifty specimens. A short 
distance from the church there is 
a spring of water dedicated to 
St. Helena, the mother of Constan- 
tine the Great, who is said to have 
discovered, at Jerusalem, the 
Sepulchre and Cross of Jesus 
Christ. Many wells, also churches, 
in the north of England, are 
dedicated to this saint. 

A. S. 


Aldwoodley Crag is a fine ele- 
vation of sandstone rock, from 
which may be studied the force 
of mighty waters which, in former 

ages, swept resistlessly through the valley, scooping out the deep hollow 
as we see it to-day; and on the higher ground are huge boulder-stones, 



vestiges, in their ice-scratched faces, of the glacial period.* The scenery 
of the moor, known as Adel Crags, stretching towards Moortown, 
although so near Leeds, still remains wild and picturesque ; yet, 
in all probability, the time is not far distant when Adel will become 
a line-and-rnle regulated portion of Leeds, and the evidences of Roman 
occupation will then be blotted ont by the works of the children of 
men who survive him. At the present, the beauty of the vale of 

Adel is apparent to the least 
cultured, and the features of every 
stage of its past history can be still 
recognised. The heather still blooms 
there, for the moors have not yet 
been destroyed, the sniff of the 
keen wintry air, sweeping down 
from the Chevin, is still as pure 
and pungent as when the imperial 
legionaries dreaded its blast, of 
which fact a letter of that day, 
sent by a wit in Rome to his friend 
in Britain, testifies; the letter and 
the reply to it have fortunately been 

A century ago, before the huge 
tanneries and other large indus- 
tries were in such strong evidence, 
no fairer spot, teeming with natural 
beauty, can be imagined than the 
pleasant vale of Mean wood, t with 
its then crystal stream and mur- 
muring woods, interspersed with 
cottage and mansion, and the bold 
line of ridge, from which far-reaching views can be obtained. 

* The name Tingwald Hill — a natural eminence (Ton-wald-how) — midway between Adel 
and Moortown, carries the mind back to the customs and laws of a bygone people — our 
Teutonic forefathers. 

t The root signification of the place-name ' Meauwood ' is closely akin to that in which 
we use the word ' meaning,' i.e., denning one thing from another. In Celtic, maen meant a 
measure or limit ; ' mea,' in Scandinavian, the same. Meauwood, therefore, denotes boun- 
dary wood, and is, in fact, a forested tract well marked off from the Weetwood slope, 
immediately to the south, by Adel beck, which follows the valley bottom between them, as 



1 i 



^M|L. ^1L 

Mk W 

• ' I 





Turning towards Headingley, from Adel, there still remain delightful 
vistas of charming residences, gardens, meadows, and woodland, yet blurred 
to some extent, in the background, by the smoke and flame from forge and 
factory. At eventide the lurid flare, fitfully lighting "up the smudgy atmos- 
phere, gives a weird aspect to the scene. 


•jjjyiui fy? 

oivD house, MRANWOOD, HII.I, TOP. 

well as by the configuration of the land. But it is now impossible to say whether 'Mean,' 
here, was a Celtic or a Danish occupation term, most probably the latter. To a decrepit 
house, standing with its gable end to the old Pack Horse Road at Hill Top, local tradition 
ascribes the distinction of being the oldest in Meanwood. The illustration shows its sagging 
roof ridge, finialled gable, and angle-arch mouldings, in dressed stone, over doors and 
windows, to be of late Tudor or earl}' Jacobean times. It was the first hostel in this district. 
Over the door the words "Tap, W.P." (a Proctor— one of Meanwood's oldest family names) 
and the date, 1630, may still be deciphered, flanked by the conventional 'bush' — a bushy- 
headed tree incised in the stone- which, in the 17th centunr, took the place of the living 
bough hung out as the sign of 'a place of entertainment for man and beast.' 

the otj) kingdom ok klmf/t. 67 


One object which attracts and interests the antiquary and historian is 
the gigantic old oak, now in the last stage of decay, and from whence the 
Wapentake of Skyrack derives its name. 

The place-name, Headingley, is of Angle coinage, and, as we have 
already observed, was the only clan station, in pre-Norman times, on the 
north bank of the Aire, between Swillington and Arthington ; this place 
was probably one of the early divisions of conquered land which the Angles 
designated the " hundred," that is, the division of land shared by a hundred 
warriors and their families. " This way of dividing land," says Isaac Taylor, 
" would be rough, rather than exact, from the first, and would soon become 
only a historical survival." Thus, the "hundred court" was the early 
military and judicial organisation of the Angles. Under the rule of the Norse 
or sea kings, their military provisions included the formation of a strong 
federation and well-belted arms district (in his speech a Wapentak) making 
the Angle station of Headingley the headquarters, with the huge oak — -then, 
in its full strength and beauty, the pride of the forest — a rendezvous and 
beacon point. Here the Norseman settled the present Wapentac of Scyre-ac, 
the Shire oak marking an allotted military and political division.* 

The old Norse word, "vapna" or "vapn" means a weapon, and 
" taka " to grasp or touch : hence the Norse " vapnatak " means the touching 
of weapons. Tacitus says that in the assemblies of Teutonic warriors, when 
they wished to express their assent to any proposal, the armed warriors 
struck their spears together. The laws of Edward the Confessor also state 
that when a new chief of the Wapentake was appointed, the other chiefs or 
freemen met him at the usual place of assembly. Here the chief dismounted 
from his horse, and held his spear erect, while the other chiefs touched his 
spear with theirs, in token of fealty to the king whom the chief repre- 
sented. Most of us, when children, have taken part in the game known as 
"tiggery, tiggery, touch wood," — this child's game is a survival of the 
touching of weapons at the Wapentake, the magic touch or contact. 

Perhaps there are those who will scoff at the idea of this venerable tree 
having been the place under which the Wapentake Court of Skyrack was 
held, but when we consider that in the sixteenth century the. tree was in an 

* This district was called a Wapentak, because, when called upon by the chief, the 
people took their weapons, and hastened to the appointed spot and touched their weapons, 
a ceremony which bound them in fealty to their chief. A.S. : "Scire"— a shire or county, 
from " sciran, sceran "—to shear, to divide; compare share, shear, etc. 



advanced state of decay,' and an engraving, published two hundred years 
ago, shows that, at that time, the sap of life was nearly exhausted, yet the tree 
still survives. At this rate of decay, we may be allowed to presume that at 
least six hundred years ago its prime of existence had only been reached, ere 

decay had begun. 
Allowing three to 
four hundred 
years for its full 
vigour and glory 
of life, thus a 
ago the tree 
would have 
reached its pride 
and luxuriance of 
grandeur, and 
therefore be a 
conspicuous and 
natural object for 
the Norseman to 
form his Wapen- 
take of Scyre-ack 
— the shire oak. 
The old monarch 
has long survived 
the customs of the 

court to which it gave its name — a hoary memorial of times and manners long 
past. But how changed since the Norsemen met in conclave beneath the 
shade of its ample boughs, then in its fulness of sylvan majesty and loveliness!* 

" Survivor sole, and hardly such, of all 

That once lived here — thy brethren; 

A shattered veteran, hollow trunk' d, 

And with excoriate forks deformed — 

Relic of ages." 

* At the east end of Weetwood, by the path from Meanwood wood to Otley old road, is 
the largest living oak tree in Elmet. In the early fifties it went by the name of " Parliament 
Oak." Eike the major oak of Sherwood, it had many wide-spreading arms, convenient, in 
the writer's earl}* days, - for hanging upon,' so low down did the}' come, and, like the 
Skyrack, may have many a time served as a gallows. The shade area of its thirty feet bole 
had a diameter of thirty or forty yards. It is hale yet, being enclosed in a garden. 

[From a Drawing made two hundred years ago. 


6 9 

Adjoining the tree is the old Oak Inn, standing on the site of a very 
ancient hostelry. 

Opposite is the church of St. Michael's, forming a most handsome and 
conspicuous object. It has been rebuilt on the site of a very ancient chapelry 

dating its existence 
from Norman times. 

The church of 
St. Chad's rests in 
pleasant surround- 
ings, and with its tall, 
commanding spire, 
rising above the tree- 
tops, forms another 
pleasing and inter- 
esting object. 

Although not 
nearly so delightful 
as a generation ago 
Headingley is still 
the most charming 
suburb of the great 
city. Beautiful resi- 
dences, half hidden 
in umbrageous foli- 
age and rich gardens, 
peep out here and 
there all along the 
route, and ever and 
again castle -like 
halls and towers 
stand forth stately 
and imposing in 
luxuriant grandeur, 
a veritable paradise 

[From a Drawing by Owen Bowen. fol' the homeS of Olir 

the shirk oak in T902. city merchants. 

The extreme contrast to the above is only too apparent yonder in the 
valley. One sees smoke, there are hideous noises, the creak, clang and 



shriek of machinery, and belching of fumes and flame from forge and factory, 
with grime, dirt, and the sky pregnant with evidence of the commercial 
enterprise of this great manufacturing centre, and the dark, turbid river of 
Hades rolling through. 

It is not our purpose to describe this dismal side of the picture : the 
evils and transgressions which our city forefathers tolerated in the past are 
now fast being remedied. We shall soon have a purer atmosphere and 
consequently more sunlight ; and the Stygian flood, wherein no creature can 
now exist, will again become a pure river, in whose liquid depths fish will 
sport and the contemplative angler ply his peaceful avocation as of yore. 




IN the midst of the large forest, which, in Celto-Roman times, shadowed 
the kingdom of Elmet, the land of the Leogrys, Leoidi, Ludees, Ledes 
(the original Celtic people), was a clearing of timber on and around the 
brow of a small eminence near the river, and within this clearing stood a 
little settlement; or, as one old British writer* with vivid imagination 
describes it : " The Caer Loid Coit," which means, " The stronghold of the 
Leoidi, in the wood of Elmet." This situation was naturally strong ; besides 
other advantages, it was well watered by river and stream, being in the 
angle of land between and contiguous to both. 

Quarry Hill is the supposed site of the British Caer in the wood, and 
here, says Thoresby, in his time, a strong entrenched position could be 
clearly denned. The wild lonely heath and forest around abounded with 
game, and the larger animals were fairly numerous, whilst every stream 
and river swarmed with fish, and the low-lying fen-land was frequented by 
immense flocks of wild fowl. In the open glades around the forest clearing, 
the domestic animals found pasture ; at that period the cultivation of 
land was not carried on to any great extent. 

Here on the lonely moors of Elmet, and in the thick forest of oak, beech, 
and elm (which for many centuries later remained in almost primitive con- 
dition) the wild cattle, red deer, wolf, and boar roamed, down to the time 
of the Tudor kings. 

What a marvellous transformation has taken place since the Leoidi 
or Ledes — the original founders of the city, whose name as a memorial it 
still bears — raised their Caer in the wood, between the bright stream 
(Sheepscar beck) and the crystal waters of the limpid Aire ! Instead of the 
innumerable branches of a vast wood dancing on the sun-kissed waters of 

* Neniiius. 



the Aire, all the varied undulation of a large forest waving in the breeze, 
river and stream still flow, but not bright and limpid as of yore, and all 
else is changed. A great city, whose foundations reach back to the dim 
vista of pre- historic time, has risen; and, instead of forest trees, we see a 
huge forest of chimneys, factories, forges, and warehouses, stately edifices, 
and scores of miles of streets : a great city, carrying the name of its original 

Celtic founders onward 
through time. 

Although Leeds is re- 
ferred to by no fewer than 
three historians, who wrote 
in the early Saxon period, 
very little which can be 
relied on as authentic is 
known about the place pre- 
vious to the Norman era. 
Bede mentions it as " In 
regionequ^evocaturLoidis; ,, 
Nennius as the " Caer Loid 
Coit ; " again, Mailoc or 
Madoc, brother to St. Gildas, 
is said " to have journeyed 
to Luihes, in the district of 
Elmail" (doubtless the read- 
ing should be Luides and 
Elmet) "and there built a 
monastery in which, con- 
tinually serving God with prayer and fasting, he rested at length in peace." 
Did the monastery here referred to, and built of wood, stand on the same 
site as now occupied by the Parish Church, as the relic now remaining, and 
others now unfortunately lost, are very suggestive of an early origin ? 

The above are, indeed, but brief notices, but what can we expect 
when, regarding Barwick (to which Leeds was greatly inferior and subor- 
dinate, both in military importance and population, the former with its 
huge entrenched position and long line of earthworks proving its superiority 
and importance), history is strangely silent? More can be learnt anent the 
earlier period from the earthworks still existing in the district, and others 
now obliterated, though mentioned by previous historians. The remains of 



Roman roads and camps all point significantly to the strength and number 
of the Celtic people in the locality, who required careful watching. 

The relics and evidences of pre-historic times found in the city itself are 
only scanty. If we take into consideration the lapse of time, and changes 
which have come to pass, and the lack of interest formerly taken in 
archaeology, we may be thankful for what remains. In the vicinity of Brig- 
gate, in 1745, there was found, at a depth of two feet below the surface, a 
British urn of rude formation, containing ashes (calcined bones), and a stone 
axe, perforated for a shaft, and a few other stone implements and querns or 
handmills. Another implement, formed out of hard slate stone, evidently 
a hammer, was found by a navvy, when digging in the vicinity of the N.E. 
Station.* A British tore of pure flexible gold, value eighteen pounds sterling, 
was found at Rawdon, by a weaver, in 1780 ; and in the same vicinity was 
found a rude urn. A massive gold armlet, value eighteen pounds sterling, 
was offered for sale to the late Mr. Denny, curator of the Leeds Museum. 
The above are only a few instances of pre-historic finds, others might be 
added, but these are sufficient for our purpose. 

Connecting Leeds to the Roman-Celtic period, scarcely any relics have 
been discovered ; yet there are several vestiges of earthworks, just 
without the city boundaries, some of which still remain : for instance, 
those mentioned by Thoresby and Dr. Whitaker, at Gipton and Harlow Hill, 
and remains of defences, visible until very lately, in Batty Wood on the 
Ridge ; others at Giant's Hill, Armley, Bramley, Beeston, and Killingbeck ; 
also those further afield at Kippax, Barwick, Bardsey, etc. 

Although several writers have described Leeds as the site of a Roman 
station, said to have stood near the line of a road running from Adel to 
Slack, there is not sufficient evidence to prove this. Thoresby makes 
mention of it, yet he brings no positive proof to support his idea. Supposing 
a station had existed, connected by a well-paved road of Roman construction, 
running between Adel, Leeds, and Slack, surely sufficient testimony to place 
the fact beyond dispute would have been forthcoming in Thoresby's 
time, two centuries ago. Fletcher, in his Picturesque Yorkshire, gives this 
rather bald statement : u It was a Roman station, but there is nothing left 
which shows the enquirer that its story goes so far back." Why these state- 
ments are repeated by most writers I fail to understand, considering there 
is no evidence forthcoming to demonstrate the existence of such a station 
here, and the nearest point to the actual line of Roman road is fully 

* Just without the boundary. 




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six miles away on either side. That a paved ford existed just below the 
site of the present bridge, and a road or path led hither from the. Calls and 
Church, there is ample proof; yet this does not necessarily imply it was 

That Leeds would be well known to the Romans, the stations in the 
vicinity (Adel and Castleford) are sufficiently conclusive ; and it is also 
probable that these people quarried the district for ironstone ; evidences of 
such quarries are always found when digging foundations between Briggate 
and Call Lane ; but by whom the industry was worked is a matter of con- 
jecture. The Rev. J. G. Simpson, in his work on the Leeds Parish Church, 
says that in all probability Leeds was the seat of the Royal Court of the 
Scandinavian kings of Northumbria. Another writer says it was a 
residence of Angle kings ; but, like the supposed Roman castrum on Quarry 
Hill, and the Roman road running through the Calls, and the ford over the 
Aire, all are mythical, resting on the imagination only, without any found- 
ation of fact to rely upon. 

Supposing Leeds had once been the residence of either Angle or Danish 
kings, its name would have surely found a place in the Saxon chronicle. 
Bede certainly touches upon it, but only as a people or district, not as a 
town or city. 

In point of antiquity, apart from its name (Leeds — a memorial of its 
founders), comes the Parish Church, dedicated to St. Peter. Its foundations 
carry us back in imagination down the shadowy aisles of time for, at least, 
fifteen centuries ; but as to the precise date the first Church was erected on 
this site, history is again silent. One writer says five structures have stood 
on this spot. Supposing this to be the case, the first would be a British 
Church of timber construction, with roof of thatch, superseded, in the 
seventh century, by one of more durable material, which lasted through the 
Angle and Danish dynasties, say from the eighth to the eleventh century. 

Remains of crosses and carved stones of this ancient edifice were found 
in the walls, during the last restoration. According to a statement by 
Robert Dennis Chantrill, the architect of the present Church, and to whom, 
in some measure, we owe the existence of the runic cross, now to be seen 
by the Altar, f great numbers of carved stones, portions of pillars, shafts, 

* Callis—a beaten path. 

t This stone is supposed to have been raised to the memory of Anlaff, the Norse leader, 
in the invasion which culminated in the battle of Brunanburgh. In our opinion, the work 
on the stone is of much later date— eleventh century. 

7 6 


capitals and fragments of crosses, etc., were carted away with the debris. 
If we reconcile ourselves to this statement, we can only regret the utter lack 
of the sentiment of veneration, and a strange apathy shown for past relics 
amongst the clergy of that period, and those in charge of the demolition 

of the structure. 
Leeds, with few relics 
of her past career, 
can ill afford this 

Of the third 
Church, supposed to 
have been erected 
about the end of the 
eleventh, or early 
years of the twelfth 
century, its architec- 
ture, naturally, 
would be pure Nor- 
man. The original 
structure appears to 
have consisted of 
nave, transept, and 
choir, additions be- 
ing made in the 
thirteenth, four- 
teenth, and fifteenth 

During some 
alterations, in 1809, 
many fragments of a 
more ancient struc- 
ture were discovered , 
amongst which was a stone coffin, hewn out of a solid block of stone, 
supposed to be at least seven hundred years old.* From evidences, this church 
seems to have been partly destroyed by fire : hence its diversity of architecture. 

* Leeds Mercury, 1809 :— Stone Coffin found at Leeds Parish Church. The 
issue of July 29th records that— On Wednesday last the workmen employed in repairing the 
Parish Church in this town found a stone coffin containing a complete skeleton and the 
bones of two other human subjects under the foundation of the church, near the entrance 




The fourth church was demolished in 1838, and the fifth church erected 
on the lines of the old foundation, completed and duly consecrated on 
Thursday, 2nd of September, 1841, under the vicariate of Dean Hook, whose 
earnest zeal performed such wonders in Leeds, both temporally and 
spiritually. What Thoresby said of the former church — "Black, but comely" 
— can be partly said of the present structure, which is certainly very black, 
although, perhaps, not quite so comely as the previous one. From an 
architectural standpoint there is much to be desired. Its appearance does 
not greatly impress the onlooker, nor does the dingy squalor of its situation 
and surroundings add any charm to the fabric. 


Whatever may be its shortcomings in architectural grace and grandeur 
of outline and design, it was around this early religious foundation that, for 
centuries, Leeds of the Celtic and Anglo-Danish periods existed, with a popu- 
lation which, in pre-Norman times, never exceeded four hundred souls. Leeds 
had not then spread west, even so far afield as Briggate, the beginning of 
this now important thoroughfare being called into existence by the slow but 
gradual growth of the town during the early rule of the Norman lords. 

to the bell-chamber. The coffin has the appearance of having been cnt out of a solid block 
about seven feet long by a foot and a half deep ; its interior dimensions are six feet three 
inches in length, about twelve inches deep, and of width sufficient to hold a tolerably large 
figure. From the situation in which it was found, it must have lain in that place ever since 
the church was erected, possibly above 700 years. 



Of mediaeval Leeds there are few traces, and space compels us to touch 
lightly. When the Norman William succeeded to the patrimony of Harold 
the Saxon, momentous changes took place. Characteristic of the Norman 

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was his despotic rule and strict enforcement of law and order. All 
went by rule, from king to slave. We have charters from the king to the 
baron, from the barons to the knights, and from the latter to the soldiers, 
landholders, and even cotters and borderers. A most remarkable charter was 


given to Leeds by Maurice Paganel, 1207-8; it presents an interesting and 
singular picture of mediaeval Leeds. The charter is fully translated in 
Whitaker's Lotdis in Elmet. 

The Domesday records tell us Leeds and surrounding district were 
bestowed by the king on that powerful Norman, Ilbert de Laci, the 
founder of Kirkstall, who consolidated all its estates under his great Barony 
of Pontefract, where the skeleton of his once huge castle still remains to be 
seen ; and to fully understand the vast extent of this lord's territory, it is 
said he could ride three days on horseback, continuously, and see nothing 
but his own property. From De Laci the land in and around Leeds was 
subinfeuded to Ralph Paganel or Paynel, and by him the advowson of the 
Church of Leeds, with the Chapel of Holbeck, was given to the Priory of 
Holy Trinity, York. 

In the early Norman period, a bridge was built over the river, and the 
street bearing its name, Bridge-gate (Briggate), began gradually to assume 
its outline and importance, until, as centuries rolled past, it reached to the 
confines of Kirkgate ; still growing upwards it joined the Head Rows, 
which began to take something like definite shape by the end of the sixteenth 

Wheater says, " Cloth was made in Leeds before the reign of Edward 
the First, for in 1275, Alexander Fuller, a cloth maker of Leedes ' makes 
cloth not of the right breadth ; ' " and in 1201, one Simon the dyer is fined 
ioo/-- for selling adulterated wine, and so we find that short measures and 
adulteration were practised even in the old days of Leeds ; and we also find 
that two of its principal industries, cloth making and dyeing, have had 
their origin in early Norman times. 

The feudal rights exercised by the occupiers of the king's mills compelled 
the inhabitants of the manor of Leeds to grind their, corn at the said mills. 
From this restraint, however, those houses which are situated within the 
manor of Whitkirk were exempt. The origin of this custom is very remote. 
In ancient times each family ground its corn in hand-mills. When water- 
mills were invented their introduction was eagerly desired ; few, however, 

* It was about the old bridge that the cloth market was held. " And here," says Thoresby, 
"several thousand pounds have been known to pass hands in a few hours " (mark the sequel), 
" and in comparative silence surprising to strangers." Here, also, stood the famous " Bridg- 
end Shots," "where the clothier may, together with his pot of ale, have a noggin o' porrage 
and a trencher of either boiled or roast meat for twopence.*' Good old times and customs ! 
Briggate of that day, 1700, had verj- few shops: there were flower gardens to the front, and 
orchards and paddocks to the backs of the houses. 



were able to build them. In some poor districts the king was petitioned to 
erect mills, to which he consented, on condition that the inhabitants would 
bind themselves and their heirs for ever (mark the word) to grind at such 
mills, on the terms then agreed to. During the Holy Wars, many privileges 
and immunities were granted to the Knights Templar, and among these 
was the exemption of their lands from certain taxes, and free of the obliga- 
tion to grind at the Soke Mill of Leeds manor. The houses thus exempt 

are marked with crosses ; there 
are several different styles of 
forming this cross — single, 
double, and also the Maltese 
cross. The " Court Leet " of the 
manor of Whitkirk and Temple- 
newsam are yet held, and an 
annual gathering of the constable 
and assistants takes place. In 
Templar Street (which takes its 
name from the Knights of the 
Temple) the crosses are to be 
seen in abundance and variety ; 
also in Templar Court and St. 
John's Square (named after the 
Knights of St. John). Less than 
a century ago, this Square was 
the residence of well-to-do trades- 
people, and it still bears evidences 
of better days. Other objects 
worthy of note in this district 
belongingto the manor of Temple- 
newsam, are the many antique 
door knockers. 

Timble Bridge, over which 
the road ran, leading from Leeds 
to Templenewsain, is said by Thoresby to be a corruption of Temple Bridge. 
In the fourteenth century, this was one of the most important parts of the 
town. In 1379, one John of Tymbill Smith dwelt here, and is said by 
Wh eater to have been one of the four richest tradesmen in the town. 

The stringent laws of the Plantagenet kings, which compelled the 
people, under severe fines, to wear clothes suitable to their order and position, 

[E. Bogg 




from cloth of gold down to coarse black serge, made the cloth manufac- 
tured in Leeds a necessity. Width, weight, quality, colour, and price, were 
all regulated by the Government, in accordance with the decision of the 
Guilds, chartered to conduct the trade and manufacture. 

We have already indicated that the Leeds of the Normans spread from 
the bridge to Kirkgate, and of the Tudor dynasty up to the Head Row ; 

under the Jacobean kings the town 
/ grew west to Albion Street, and during 

the reign of the Georges to Park Lane 
and the west end, and at the same 
rate of progress also north and east. 

Of mediaeval Leeds scarcely a 
vestige remains. Swinegate and King's 
Mills, however, retain the memory of 
those days;* Swinegate being the 
approach from the bridge and town to 
the mills and the manor house, which 
stood on Mill Hill, erroneously described 
as a castle, doubtless a myth, like the 

supposed Roman camp, that never 
existed ; and from the garnish of this 
baronial and imperial robe Leeds must, 
perforce, be divested, being in the 
same plight as an individual of humble 
parentage who, having suddenly 
acquired great wealth, must needs 
manufacture a crest and an ancient 
ancestry. Thoresby was evidently 
led astray by the existence of Leeds 
Castle in Kent. 

The moat which surrounded the 
manor house is said to have been 
visible in Thoresby's time, and it is 

from the description of the place by this antiquary, that the legend of a 

castle grew into shape. 

* Within the last half century several very quaint houses, of the Tudor period, or even 
earlier, have been demolished in Swinegate. A piece of timber, bearing the arms of Mowbray, 
taken from one of those old houses, is now to be seen in the Philosophical Hall. 





Of Leeds of the Tudor period, very little remains. Of the Jacobean 
there are several examples, notably, two or three quaint gabled shops in 
Briggate ; one dated 1615, the old Pack Horse Inn (formerly the Nag's Head), 
and the inn yards between Briggate and Lands Lane/ exhibit several 
quaint examples of seventeenth century architecture. The Leopard Inn 
and yard, containing both Tudor and Jacobean architecture, wear quite a 
Flemish aspect. 

The last relics of the Butter Cross, in the shape of columns, have lately 
been removed owing to extensive alterations required for the new street 
known as New Bond Street, 
which has also caused the 
removal of the shambles and 
its necessary appendages — a 
most creditable improvement. 

Some part of Ralph 
Thoresby's house in Kirkgate 
is still in evidence, it is the one 
now occupied by Fourness, 
druggist ; portions of the 
framework of the observatory 
still exist above the passage 
leading into the yard whete 
Thoresby's museum was also 
situated. From his .study 
window, which was imme- 
diately over the shop, the 
antiquary could see across 
Briggate, and just beyond to the 
green fields of the country, the 
Aire flowing bright and limpid, 
the hills above Kirkstall and Bramley filling the background of the picture. 

There are other ancient features in Kirkgate: the Golden Cock Inn 
and block of houses with antique gables, near to the Parish Church ; Cherry 
Tree Yard, opposite to the church, with low, narrow entrance, is a type of 
those folds, peculiar, quaint, but dirty relics of old Leeds. The widening 
of Call Lane has been the means of sweeping away much old property. 

In Lowerhead Row a few relics of Rockley Hall are yet in evidence. 
This Hall was formerly the finest in the town, it occupied all the high 
* The lane formerly leading to cultivated patches of land — hence L,ands Lane. 





ground immediately above top of Lady Lane, extending to Wood Street, 
with gardens and grounds reaching down to Lady Beck. The Rockleys, 
of ancient lineage, were the only family in the parish of Leeds who were 
honoured with a chapel or queere in the Parish Church. A portion of 
the old Hall, on the north side of the Row, was converted into cottages, 
about a century 
ago, and formed 
part of what was 
Cryers Yard. 
These have been 
recently demol- 
ished, and a few 
fragments of the 
old Hall were met 
with, and still 
exist. On the 
south side of the 
Row, portions 
remain in the 
foundations of the 
old shop of Oates', 

the saddlers, Three Legs Yard, and Proctor's, tobacconists, at the corner 
just undergone alterations ; and one in Malt Shovel Yard, dating from 
Tudor times, have no doubt done duty as out-offices to the Hall. Other 
antique bits of property still exist in this street. 

The Moot Hall,* which stood in the middle of Briggate, has long 
since been demolished, so have the several Chantries : one stood at the 
Bridge, one in Kirkgate, one in Lady Lane, and one to the west of Briggate, 

* '-The Moot Hall in Leeds (a building which served the purpose of a Town Hall) stood 
in front of what was called the Middle Row, and faced down Briggate, at a point a few }ards 
above Kirkgate. Apart from the obstruction in the leading thoroughfare of the borough 
caused by the Middle Row, the Moot Hall had proved wholly inadequate for its purpose long 
before it was demolished. The agitation for the removal of the whole Middle Row began 
about the year 1820. The first definite step with this object was not taken, however, until 
1822. In July of that year a meeting for the purpose was held in the Parish Church, of all 
places, and by a large majority it was resolved to proceed with the much-needed improve- 
ment. The demolition was completed on May 30th, 1825. The pillory and stocks were in 
prominent positions in front of the old Moot Hall. When the Court House (afterwards the 
Post Office) was built in Park Row, the stocks were transferred to one side of that building, 
and no doubt there are old Leeds residents able to say that they remember having seen 
them in use." 



in Upperhead Row, removed by Mr. Legg in 1869. The walls of this 
Chantry were very thick, with beams of black oak. There were fragments 
of mediaeval pottery, ancient candlesticks, and a deep draw-well with steps 
leading down to the water. This Chantry belonged to Kirkstall Abbey. 
Connected with it is the legend of the subterranean passage leading to the 

The names of old hostelries, Pack Horse and Nag's Head, King's Arms, 
Golden Cock, Cock and Bottle, Malt Shovel, Black Bull, Three Legs, Old 
Malt Mill, The Royal, Bull and Mouth, etc., hereabouts, remind us of the 
old market days of the early years of last century. The first calls up the 
time when much of the manufacture and produce was carried .on the backs 
of pack horses, which followed the old hollow roads ; vestiges of the ancient 
road between Leeds and York still remain. 

What a charming picture the memory relimns, shall we say, of the 
1 good old days,' when the travellers, with their string of pack horses, to the 
accompaniment of jingling bells, drew up to the hostelry — Pack Horse, the 
Nag's Head, King's Arms, Black Bull, etc., to bait their horses, and refresh 
themselves with bread and cheese and tankards of brown sparkling ale, 
relating to Boniface the scandal and gossip of the countryside. These were 
the days of highwaymen, when scores of waggons and coaches rumbled 
along the 'high toby,' and through the quaint crooked streets and narrow 
alleys of Jacobean Leeds ; carriers' carts and rickety old vehicles of a past 
age carrying the farmer and his wife and daughter ; others mounted on the 
1 dappled grey,' or heavy cart horse, wended their way through the streets, 
presenting a jostling, bustling, and 'motley' crew. 

Leeds did not suffer greatly from the miseries of the Civil War. This 
arose, no doubt, from its situation — being located some distance from the 
highways, and partly from its insignificance as a town of any great historical 
importance, in those early troublous times, never having had a castle, wall, 
or any works of defence. 

During the civil wars of the Cavaliers and Roundheads, the greater 
part of the inhabitants seem to have been in favour with the latter; this 
doubtless arising from their sense of freedom and independence. The town 
was stormed and taken by the Roundheads, after a two hours' fight, January 
23rd, 1643.* 

* ' • Leedes was taken by Sir Thomas Fairfax, eleven soldiers slain, buried 24th ; five 
more slain two or three days after; six more died of their wounds. Buried ist April, 1643, 
Captain Boswell, slain at Seacroft battel, and six soldiers. A gentleman and two common 
soldiers, slain in Robert Williamson's house, of Iluuslet, buried 13th of April, 1643. Five 



During the rebellion of 1745, Leeds was thrown into a state of feverish 
excitement on hearing the news that the Pretender, with a large army, was 
marching south. This excitement somewhat abated when John Wesley 
rode into the town from the north, on the 5th of November, bringing the 

news that the 

. Pretender's army 

was steering 
towards Preston 
and Manchester. 
It was on this 
occasion that 
Marshal Wade, 
with an army of 
thirteen thousand 
men, encamped in 
the vicinity of 
Sheepscar and 
Woodhouse, and 
from which cir- 
cumstance Wade 
Lane received its 
name. Wade Hall 
still remains at 
the corner of Kel- 
sall Street, and 
the above lane is said to have been the headquarters of the gallant Marshal. 
In 1753, a very serious riot took place, and to properly understand the 
reason of this disturbance, and the stupid ignorance of the people or ring- 
leaders of the mob, we may say that up to this period Leeds had never been 
properly connected by good roads with the chief centres in the county ; for 
instance, the old, deep, hollow road, which led from Leeds to York, and 
which, in many places, can still be distinctly traced, was only wide enough 
for the passage of a single vehicle, drawn by horses in single row. The 
inconvenience arising from such a narrow way must necessarily have been 



soldiers more slain. Nine more in May, 1643. vSixteen more in June, under Captain 
Lascelles, Major Gifford, Sir George Wentworth, Captain Thornton, and the Earl of New- 
castle. Twelve more in Jul}*, under General King, Sir Ingram Hopton, and Sir William 
Widdriugton ; twenty-six soldiers buried in July and August, 1644. A soldier buried in the 
old School Garth." 


great. The attempt to improve the then existing state of things, by the 
formation of good constructed roads, and the erection of turnpike bars, was 
the cause of the riot. The people of Leeds strongly objected to the payment 
of tolls, and a large mob marched to Halton Dial on the York Road, 
demolished the toll bar there, and from thence came to Beeston, and 
destroyed the bar, and also the one on the Leeds and Bradford Road. In 
the attempt to destroy the bar at Harewood Bridge, they were successfully 
resisted and driven back towards Leeds by Mr. Lascelles, who had armed 
his tenants and workmen. Three of the instigators were arrested, and on 
the following day brought before the magistrates. This proceeding aroused 
the fury of the mob to a greater pitch, and a rescue was attempted. The 
military were called out, the Riot Act read, which being of no avail, a volley 
of powder was fired ; this not having the desired effect, and the fury of the 
mob passing all bounds of restraint, the soldiers again fired, this time with 
ball. The effect was electrical : the mob suddenly fled in all directions ; 
upwards of thirty people were wounded, several fatally. 

Thus ended the great turnpike riots. Since that time, Leeds has 
witnessed many innovations in her rapid stride upward to wealth, and the 
position of the chief commercial and manufacturing centre of Yorkshire. 
In point of antiquity and interest to St. Peter's follows that of St. John, 
built by John Harrison, a native of Leeds, who, having acquired a consider- 
able fortune by trade, and being childless, determined to erect and endow a 
chapel. It was completed and consecrated September 26th, 1634. Its 
exterior w r alls do not by any means present a fine example of church 
architecture. It is of the debased order, sixteenth century, when the art 
and expression of church building was at its lowest ebb. The interior is 
contrary to all rule and consists of two aisles only, with a row of columns 
up the middle, and a heavy dark oak screen completely obscuring the choir. 
Yet the question of beauty in point of architecture is counterbalanced by 
the richness of the carving, which is most lavish and elaborate, presenting 
the most complete carved interior of the Jacobean order in the county. 

John Harrison was first buried in his own orchard in Kirkgate, but his 
body was afterwards removed into the choir of St. John's, and over his tomb 
is a monument of black marble. 

Thoresby says of this church: — " So noble and stately a structure is 
scarcely to be paralleled in England. " 

Whitaker, on the other hand, says:— " St. John's Church has all the 
gloom and all the obstruction of an ancient church, without one vestige of 
its dignity and grace." 



The church was restored in 1867 under the supervision of Norman Shaw, 
when the galleries were removed. Up to that time, all the pews had 
beautifully carved doors ; these with other rare carved work at that time 
disappeared. Where ? That is the question. Probably worked into 

unique specimens 
of Jacobean carv- 
i n g and now 
adorning some 
private residence 
in the city. 

Apart from the 
ch urch, J oh 11 
Harrison built 
the Free Gram- 
mar School* and 
founded the Hos- 
pital adjoining, 
for the relief of 
-indigent persons 
of good conver- 
sation and former- 
ly industrious. 

Adjoining the 
church to the 
west is a row of 
antique cottages 
known as St. 
John's Court. A 
little beyond, also 

built by John Harrison, is Wade Hall. The only building which stood 
between this and Red Hall in the seventeenth century was a cloth ware- 
house ; portions of which have recently been exposed, owing to the 
alterations for the widening of Woodhouse Lane and Wade Lane.f Red 

* The Grammar School was first founded by Sir William Sheaffield, Priest, and stood on 
the site now occupied by the Old Pinfold in Edward Street. It was removed to the West 
side of North Street, near top of Lady Lane, by John Harrison in 1624. where it remained 
until taken down for street improvements some three or four years ago. 

t The last remnant of Lydgate has just been demolished. Just beyond in Woodhouse 
Lane stood a Tower, hence the names, "Tower Hill " and " Tower Buildings." 




Hall, red from the former colour of the bricks of which it is built, is a large 
gabled structure facing Guildford Street. Seventy years ago large poplar 
trees adorned the front, and a garden, reaching down to the Music Hall and 
Theatre, now called King Charles' Croft. At the time of its erection, by 

Thomas Metcalf, mer- 
chant and alderman 
of L,eeds, it would 
present an imposing 
appearance, and 
doubtless ranked with 
the finest structures 
in the town. 

It was here that 
Charles Stuart, a 
prisonei in the hands 
of the Roundheads, 
rested on the journey 
south, and, whilst 
here, a maid at the 
Hall offered to assist 
the King to escape, 
entreating him to put 
on her clothes to 
escape detection, and 
she would escort him in the dark through the garden into a back alley to 
Lands Lane, thence to a friend's house. The King declined the offer, 
but presented her with a token of service ; this she afterwards brought 
before the notice of Charles II., and told him the story, who, out of 
gratitude, made her husband chief bailiff in Yorkshire, and it was he 
who afterwards built Crosby House in the Head Row. The story also says 
that John Harrison, by permission, sent the King a tankard of excellent ale. 
Hid in the depths of the tankard were a quantity of gold pieces, which the 
King is said to have dexterously hid about his person. 

There is one striking fact in connection with journalism and the 
growth of Leeds, namely, the career of the Leeds Mercury, which com- 
menced nearly two centuries ago — May, 1718. In 1801 it was sold to the 
late Mr. Edward Baines, whose family last year celebrated their century 
of ownership. Thus, to Leeds belongs the credit of producing the first 

f^ed Kail 


<^r~ — - 

A. S. 


Yorkshire newspaper. On its appearance in 17 18, Leeds was then a 
small town of less than ten thousand people. To-day the Mercury \ growing 
with the requirements of the inhabitants, circulates in a city of over four 
hundred thousand people. 

The Leeds Intelligencer, which has ultimately grown into the wide-famed 
Yorkshire Post, began its career as far back as July 2nd, 1754. The copy 
now before me bears the date 1767, printed by Griffith Wright, at New 
Street end. Thus we find that the two most important newspapers in the 
north of England to-day began, one in the early years, and the other in 
the middle of the eighteenth century. 

Of rare and striking examples of architecture Leeds can boast but 
few ; one noble example — the Town Hall — alone relieves it from mediocrity. 
Suppose we stand by the Queen's Hotel and look up Park Row. To the left 
is the new Post Office, the interior arrangements of which are, no doubt, 
excellent ; but the site, the best and most commanding in the city, is worthy 
of a far greater type, in fact it is the poorest example in the square to 
which it has given its name — Post Office Square. 

The Standard Office, built in crescent form, has a much better effect. 
Between the latter and the Post Office rises forth in the background, above 
the roofs of warehouses, etc., noble and impressive, the dome of the Town 
Hall. The two buildings on our right, the Exchange and Mill Hill Chapel, 
are the best examples of pointed Gothic in the city, uniform in style and 
ornamental work, and redeem, in some measure, the paucity of the city's 

The Banks and Insurance Offices, which line either side of Park Row, 
in some instances, rise above the average standard of street architecture, and 
give a stately effect to this row. The Philosophical Hall, a severe, classic 
structure, and the Mechanics' Institute, now given over to science and art 
for a very different class to that originally intended, are worthy of their 
object. The Infirmary and the Yorkshire College can only be classed as a 
series of good buildings. 

Leeds, however, possesses one magnificent structure which does not 
fail to arrest the attention of the citizen or stranger. Seen down the vista of 
streets, in the miasma of evening, the stately dome of the Town Hall 
reminds one of some ancient Grecian temple, at the waning of the light, 
when the sharp outlines of intervening buildings are softened and subdued, 
and the noble dome towers high over all, dreamlike as a vision of 
olden time. 

9 o 


We cannot, in onr brief sketch of Leeds' architectural adornments, omit 
mention of the carving on the facade of the Queen's Hotel. The work is, 
perhaps, the most artistic of its class in Leeds, and deserving of great care 

in it's preservation. 
It was done by 
Messrs. Burstall and 
Taylor. The first- 
named sculptor 
built himself a house 
in Lofthouse Place, 
and enriched the 
front by some of 
his own carving ; he 
was an admirable 
man, both as a 
citizen and artist. 
Taylor, although 
perhaps not quite so 
proficient a sculptor 
as his partner, was 
a fair musician, and 
somewhat of a cynic. 
Amongst the 
citizens whose 
memories are held 
in honour and 
respect, are John 
Harrison, the bene- 
factor and founder 
of St. John's Church 
and the hospital 
adjoining, and who 
alsoperformed many 
other good works ; 
Ralph Thoresby, the historian and antiquary ; John Smeaton, the architect 
and civil engineer, the builder of Kddystone Lighthouse ; Joseph Priestly, 
theologian and scientist, some time minister of Mill Hill Chapel. 

Among artists, Leeds produced C. H. Swanfelder, Joseph Rhodes, 
J. X. Rhodes, Edward Armitage, R.A., W. Cope, R.A. (the latter presented 



the beautiful altar picture of the Ascension to St. George's Church) ; 
Richard Waller, portrait artist ; Thomas Sutcliffe, member of the Water 
Colour Society ; Atkinson Grimshaw, noted for his wonderful moonlight 
effects ; James Roberts, for lake and mountain scenery ; and Henry Iuchbold, 
the poet, friend of A. C. Swinburne, and the interpreter, both by brush and 
pen, of Wharfedale's Priory and the white faunch of Rylstone. 

The chief interest of Leeds centres round its great number of industries. 

In historic evidence and antiquities Leeds is notably deficient, never 
having possessed a castle or fortification, like Pontefract, Knaresborough, 
or York. -Unlike the latter city, it was not a centre of great municipal life, 
and never the scene of mediaeval pageantry. 

The wonderful growth of the town, from a population of less than a 
thousand people, in the fourteenth, and even the early years of the fifteenth 
century (then only the tenth town in point of wealth in the riding), to 
the greatest city in the county to-day, presents a striking example of indus- 
trial development. 

In the past, Leeds stood too far away from the great highways of 
communication to properly develop her resources. With the introduction 
of steam, and opening out of new roads, river-way, and railway lines of 
communication, the advantage of her situation was apparent. Blessed with 
many industries and great enterprise, Leeds has advanced by mighty strides, 
and now become one of the most prosperous cities in the world. 

Potteruewton, Gipton, and Chapeltown, on the highway to Harewood 
and Harrogate, are most pleasant suburbs. The former, according to 
Thoresby, received its prefix "potter" from the ashes of an adjacent Roman 
pottery.* The same antiquary also informs us that the place had been 
known by its present name in his day: — " These four hundred years, that 
ancient family of the Mauliverers, who took part in the fight and conquest 
at Hastings, had a seat here for generations, and in the fifteenth and sixteenth 
centuries, a branch of the family of Lindley, of Lindley, dwelt here." 

Allerton Hall was of old the seat of the Kitchingmaus. It was a custom 
o{ theirs, when any member of the family died, the body was borne hence 
to the church of St. Peter's, Leeds, in weird and solemn procession at night, 

*Potternewton, known by its present name for at least six hundred years. Its prefix 
'•potter" may have been given it from the many fragments of pottery strewn around, a 
former occupation, and on the rebuilding, the terminal "Newton" given to it to mark the 
former significance of the old pottery, hence — Potteruewton. 



by torchlight, and deposited near the altar. The story says that it was only 
on these occasions that the great chandelier of the the house, which contains 
thirty-six branches, was lighted. 

The Domesday Survey says : — 

"Newton Alward had three carucates of laud to be taxed, aud there may be two ploughs 
there. Ilbert now has it, and Huufrid of him. In the demesue, one plough and two villaues, 
and one border with one plough, and five acres of meadow. Value in King Edward's time 
twenty shillings, now twenty shillings." 


The same record states, in Alreton (Allerton Chapel) — 

" Gluuier had six carucates of laud to be taxed, and there may be three ploughs there. 
Ilbert now has it, audit is waste. Value in King Edward's time forty shillings, now two 
shillings. There is a church there and wood pasture half a mile long and half broad." 

Here, the thirteenth century chapel gave place to the present structure, 
erected during the eighteenth century. The ancient parsonage house, 
destroyed in 1870, had walls of immense thickness, and is supposed to have 
been used by the monks of Kirkstall, who served this chapel. 

The church is in the Corinthian style, and the spire a commanding 
feature in the suburban landscape. A grant of land made to this church by 
the lord of the manor, in 1736, specifies its tenure to be the presentation 


of "one red rose, in time of roses, if the same shall be lawfully demanded." 
The Roman altar discovered in this churchyard is now in the museum, 
Park Row.* 

About a mile beyond Chapeltown, and separated from the latter place 
by a deep valley, is the Moortown, of old standing on a solitary moor, and 
even to-day resting on the fringe of it. Hereabouts rise the streams which 
supply the lake at Roundhay, variously known as Roundhay, Killingbeck, 
and Wyke Beck, which empties into the Aire between Thorp-Stapleton 
and Tempi enewsam. 

In Street Lane, evidently a byway of old which ran out of the military 
road passing from Adel over Bramham Moor to the ' Ermine Street/ we are 
again treading in the footsteps of the Roman. About Elmet Hall and 
Roundhay Park relics, both of Roman and Celtic people, have been found. 
As late as February, 1901 (see illustration) , three well-preserved bronze 
axe heads were unearthed, when digging foundations just off Street 
Lane. We should surmise that a small outpost of the Romans was located 
in the vicinity of Elmet Hall, to overawe the Celts dwelling hereabouts in 
the heart of Elmet. Other indications of bygone occupation remain in the 
vestiges of trenches and fortified sites. Just to the east, and abutting 011 to 
the Wetherby Road, near Elmet Lane, are the outlines of such a site ; the 
position, strong by nature, and well adapted for defence. 

Roundhay Park and its environs. 

This beautiful domain, acquired by the Leeds Corporation in 1872, and 
transformed into a free park for the benefit of the Leeds people, contains 
about eight hundred acres of wood, lake, gardens, and meadow. There is 
a charming variety of both cultivated and natural scenery. The view from 
the* Mansion, south and eastward, across the park, is all that can be desired 
by the mind that loves to linger on the rich and ever-changing hues of 
scenery. The landscape recedes and melts into dim perspective, en- 
riched by hill, wood, valley, meadow, and cornland, with spires and towers 
of adjacent village churches. 

The historic significance of its surroundings reaches back to Anglo- 
Celtic times. It formed a principal outpost for the latter, when Celtic 
influence was paramount at Barwick, hence the vigilance of the Roman in 
this district. 

Roundhay is in the parish of Barwick. Round-haig— round enclosure set 
apart for hunting purposes ; the terminal " haig" is Saxon for a hedge. 

* Near to this spot a stone coffin has recently been found. 



The manor of Roundhay comprises Seacroft and Shad well; and in olden 
times, when the forest of Ehnet cast its sombre line over the secluded dells, 
this district appears to have formed a royal chase for the Anglo-Danish 
and Norman kings and lords. Hither, in September, 1272, came King 
John to hunt in this forest ; following in his train would be many of the 
lords and barons of the north country. It was part of the great ( I^aci ' barony 
of Pontefract, and from this family, the founder of Kirkstall, the grange or 
granary in this district would doubtless be given to the monks; part of the 


great barn still exists, and stands on the extreme watershed of one of the 
tributaries of the Wyke Reck. Except the interesting old barn at the Grange 
there is nothing of much antiquity or importance remaining above ground. 
A few old by-lanes are some indication of past occupation. Cobble Hall, 
standing high above the east bank of the upper lake, has no particular interest 
or history attached to it. 

Gipton in the Domesday Survey is called " Ciptune," and between this 
name and Kippax, the latter in Domesday, "Chipesh," is a great similarity ; 
the prefix "chipe" no doubt has the same meaning — the cheap — a market, 



indicating spots where trading could be transacted between Celt and Saxon.* 
Thoresby, however, concludes the place obtained its name from " Cip," a 
tent or personal name — and u Tun,'' an enclosure. The Norman record 
shews it to have been fairly prosperous just previous to tl^e Conquest. 
After the raid of the Norman king through Yorkshire, it was left desolate 
and waste. 

" In Cipetoii and Coletnn (Gipton and Coletuu) Gospatric had four carncates of 
land and a half to be taxed, and there may be three ploughs there, Ilbert now has it, 
and it is waste. Value in King Edward's time, forty shillings; now two shillings. 
There is a church there, and wood pasture half a mile long and half broad." 

Thoresby also records, in his survey of this parish, the remains of an 
entrenched enclosure: — "Here amongst the thicket I found an ancient 
fortification, the out trench whereof is 18 feet broad. The first camp about 

* From the Anglo Saxon 
" Eastcheap." 

ceap," a market — hence we obtain u Cheapside " and 

n A c/ W^ 



i oo feet long and 60 feet broad; and the second about 165 feet square. 
Both are surrounded by deep trench and ramp^e. 1 ' This he supposed to 
have been the camp of Prince Odiwald, sub-King of Deira, who, previous 
to the fight on Whinmoor, had ranged on the side of Penda. Probably fearing 
the battle would go against the Mercians he remained neutral in camp until 
he learnt the turn in the tide of battle and then joined his forces with those 
of the victor. This hesitation of Odiwald contributed largely to the disaster 
which overtook the Mercians at the great battle of Winwaed. 



The remains of these entrenchments were very faint in Whitaker's time 
and are now completely obliterated. Gipton Well was formerly noted for 
its mineral properties. 

In our description of Elmet we shall endeavour to follow, when 
convenient, the natural lines of the various important waterways, as by so 
doing it will be much easier for the reader to follow. Besides in olden times 
the waterways often constituted a boundary. 

Starting from Roundhay we keep to the valley ; a mile downward and 
at some little distance from the beck is Foundry Mill, the waterwheel here 
being a construction of Smeaton's genius. 

Of the old forge, not much precise record has remained green ; even 
the lane perpetuating in its name the early foundry — one of, if not the most 



ancient in the vicinage of the Templars' Newsame —shows little trace, save 
in its sinuosities and the few decrepit but significant bushes of spindle tree, 
cat oak, and cornelwood, of the bird-haunted hagg in which the charcoal 
was burnt and the iron smelted for ploughshare and sword, lance-head and 
halberd, through the late, if not the early middle ages of Elmet's 'frondulous' 
forest. Men were alternatively too 
' throng' fashioning the implements 
of peace and war, to dot the i's and 
tail the y's of written history. Even 
the bits of gnarled wryed greenery 
are going the way that quite lately 
the four-square hypaethral tower of 
the foundry — brick-built — has gone. 
The onward-thrust furrow of civil 
industry turns up each of earth's 
sites in turn, like a Nemesis — even 
the graveyards of great towns such 
as that of L,eeds Parish Church dis- 
appear in time, though sentiment, 
preferring Nature's crematory to 
that of the Greeks, makes a sooty 
poplar grove of them for a few 
decades. But that anvil and 
hammer, wielded by brawny 
arms that wrought with sweat, 
alike rang to the uses of seed-time, 
harvestry, and conflict, cannot be 

Seacroft, situated on the very extremity of the watershed of the Aire 
valley, is about half-a-mile beyond. The village rests in a small dip in the 
land which, in past ages, was covered by a mere. The situation is on the 
eastern edge of the great coal beds. Two hundred yards east begins the 
watershed of the Wharfe. Seacroft Hall, a seventeenth century building, is 
now the residence of the Wilsons. Seacroft was filched by the Earl of Lincoln 
about 1250, and evidently made a member of his barony. In the terminal 
" croft " of Seacroft we have distinctly an Anglian adjunct probably to a more 
important farmstead. 

The village contains a few antique features. The most picturesque is 
seen just at the entrance from L,eeds. On the other side of the village is a 


[E. Bogg. 


9 8 


good Jacobean house, the residence of Dr. Pogson. A mile beyond in the 
direction of York is the battlefield of Whinmo'or, the story of which will be 
told more fully in a later chapter. 

According to the Norman record there is a great discrepancy in the 
value of this place in King Edward's time, and that at the compiling of the 
Domesday : — 

" In Sacroft (Seacroft), Ode, and Nineling, Ulniar, Stainuef, Ragenild had seven 
carucates* of land to be taxed, and there may be four ploughs there. One Robert 
now has it of Ilbert, and it is waste wood pasture, four quarentens long and three 
broad. Value in King Edward's time four pounds, now twenty pence." 

Crossgates, now a residential place rapidly extending, consisted, a 
century ago, of a little more than a dozen cottages, which stood near a 

crossing shut off by 
gates to keep the 
cattle, pasturing on 
the adjacent common, 
from straying. There 
is a small plot of land 
still known as "Cross- 
gates Green." 

In this vicinity 
Soldiers' Field and 
Hell Dyke are sugges- 
tive of the adjacent 
battlefield of Whin- 
moor. The first name 
probably points to the 
encampment before 
the battle and the 
From Crossgates the 



latter to the burial of the dead after the conflict, 
land falls sharply down to Wyke beck. 

Killingbeck Hall, to the east of the stream, is on a commanding situa- 
tion among exceedingly fine trees, the park gently shelving down to the 
lake, a most picturesque sheet of water. The Brooks resided here from 

* Each carucate of land was as much as a team of oxen could plough in a year. That 
area would be the standard measurement, there would be three carucates of wood, pasture 
and waste land that would be less taxed than the ploughed land. From the L,atiu carruca 
— a plough. 



Situated between the Leeds and Selby Railway and the York Road at 
Wyke Bridge is Wykebridge House, a very interesting half-timbered struc- 
ture, sixteenth century period, with an addition probably a generation later ; 
in the south wall is a good example of a Tudor door thickly studded with 
rivets. The interior contains Jacobean panelling and bits of antique furni- 
ture and the ' ingle neuk ' with seat complete. In an upper room, formerly 

the large room of the house, is 
a plaster coat-of-arms — on the 
shield are three bucks, supported 
by winged goats rampant, and 
surmounted by a crest bearing a 
goat's head between two wings. 
The worthy people who now in- 
habit the house are tenants of 
the Hon. Mrs. Meynell-Ingram, 
and on the wife's side are des- 
cendants of the Thompsons, who 
resided there early in the seven- 
teenth century.* 

The hamlet of Killingbeck, 
considering its close proximity 
to Leeds, contains features which 
are simply charming, and which 
even the railway does not tend to 
destroy ; the steep embankment 
has been planted with trees, 
giving it the appearance of a 
long wooded hill. 

Less than a mile hence, on the south of the railway and commanding 
the edge of a fine plateau, is the village of Halton. The antiquity of this 
place has long been the theme of various comment. Philologists account 
for its derivation thus : — Hal, Hcelig, t\e. t Holy ; ton from the Angle tun — an 
enclosure; hence "holy town." Thoresby mentions the tradition of a 

* Whereas the highewaie leading from L,eedes to Wikebrigg and so to Seacrofte and so 
to Kiddall towards Yorke hath been heretofore p'sented by Jury to be in great decay for 
want of ainendm 1 - So that travellres cann verie hardly passe to the great hynderanceof all 
her ma ts - subjects that have occasion to travile that way. Dated, Wakefield, 13th July, 40, 
Elizabeth (1598).— " West Riding Sessions Rolls," Yorkshire Arch. Assoc. Record Series, 
v. iii., p. 104. 



religions house having existed here, and he seems to have concluded this 
village was the site of the monastery in the wood of Elmet, mentioned by 
Bede. Following in Thoresby's footsteps, other writers relate that King 
Edwin's palace and church burnt by Cadwallader after the fatal fight and 
death of the former at Heathfield, stood at Ossethorp, now Osmondthorpe, 
and the stone altar, the only vestige of the church which escaped the fire, was 
removed to the monastery in the wood of Elmet, which, according to their 
theory, stood at Hal ton. 

The evidences in support of these statements are very faint indeed. The 
stone altar referred toby Bede, and the only relic of Edwin's church which seems 

\W. G. Foster. 


to have escaped the flames, came from Campodonum (not the Cambodunum 
of the Romans), Saxon " Dona-felda," that is Doncaster, and the latter town 
was also the " Villa Regia" of King Edwin. Bede says, a.d. 627, Paulinus 
built a church at Campodonum, where there was a royal villa, "in regione 
Loidis," which afterwards the Pagans (by whom King Edwin was slain) 
burnt, together with all the town, and we learn in addition, from Bede, 
that the stone altar from this church was long preserved in the monastery of 
Thridwulf which lies in the wood of Elmet. From this plain statement of 
Bede's we gather that the " Villa Regia " of Edwin and the church built by 


Paulinus were not at Osmondthorpe, but where Bede expressly states, 
viz. : Campodonum — Doncaster. 

Turning to the supposed site of the monastery the evidences in favour 
of Halton are very slight indeed, resting chiefly on the derivation of its name, 
" Hcelig" — holy town, which is certainly very suggestive. 

The name of the adjoining hamlet of Killingbeck probably locates Celtic 
Christianity in its prefix "Kil," a Celtic chapel. Built in the length of wall 
by the road side from Leeds to Halton and near the latter place are many 
fine shapely stones, which at some date have been used in the walls of a 
church, but of a much later period than the monastery of Thridwulf, which, 
in the writer's opinion, stood at, or near to, Barwick-in-Elmet, the capital 
of the ancient kingdom.* 

Halton Feast (locally Horton), old pronunciation " Autun Feast," half 
a century ago, was the largest feast in Yorkshire. Open house was kept for all 
who came hither, abundance of roast beef, pickled cabbage and onions, not 
only at Halton, but even as far afield as Leeds, revelry and riot running 
rampant. York Road from Marsh Lane towards Halton for nearly a mile was 
lined with stalls on either side. The Golden Cock in Kirkgate is supposed 
to have been the limit of the feast westward, and it included the north side 
of Kirkgate, but not the south. Its origin seems to point to some remote 
Christian or Pagan festival, or from a notable event in .the history of the 
Templars of Newsam. 

Leeds, seen in the dusk of a winter's afternoon from the high ridge of 
Halton reminds one of some spectral phantasmagoria, the fitful gleam and flare 
of furnaces lighting up the murky surroundings, and ever and anon the 
fading light creating sombre shadows and dark, weird masses. The 
distant sound of machinery, the whirr and shriek of many trains, the glow 
of innumerable lamps and lights glittering from cars moving swiftly to and 
fro, with all the discordant hum and the varied throb and pulsation of a vast 
hive of human beings, combine to make up the strange picture of a great 
city by night. 

* In Bede's time and long after, churches were of stooppen construction, or of timber 
with stone slab for altar table, hence so easily fired when pillaged. What have come down 
to us as reliable stone work of Saxon period were of later time, and the vestiges are rare. 
Stone crosses are the earliest examples of the mason's craft. 

" In Halletune (Halton), Morkare had six carucates of land to be taxed, where there 
may be three ploughs. Ilbert now has it, and it is waste. Value in King Edward's time, 
twenty shillings; it now pays two shillings." 



There are few ancient features in Halton. The Irwin Arms, a hostel, 
seventeenth century period, is perhaps the most picturesque, but other 
survivals point to a remote past. 

One charming picture is to be seen from the outskirts of the village near 
the " water tower," just in the silver shadowing grey of evening, between 
day and night, the tower of Whitkirk church rising amongst the sur- 
rounding trees, the moon glinting over all, forms a picture full of pathos 
and rare pastoral beauty. 


It will be well to precede our description of Whitkirk and Temple- 
newsam by a few remarks on the vestiges of antiquity at Osmondthorpe, the 
mediaeval remains at Thorpe- Stapleton, and the unique specimen of early 
Jacobean work at Knowesthorpe. 

The suffix "thorpe" attached to the above-mentioned places is suf- 
ficiently indicative of Norse or Danish origin and permanent settlement. In 



Lincolnshire, chiefly colonized by the Danes, the word Thorpe — meaning a 
settlement of people, a village, is attached to more than sixty places. 

The Domesday mention of Osmondthorpe is very brief: "In Ossetorp 
four carucates to be taxed." 

Besides Thoresby and Whitaker, many later antiquaries have fixed on 
this place as a royal residence of Saxon kings, the Villa Regia of Bede, " in 
regione Eoides," and we cannot but admit there are a few evidences in 
favour of this idea. The fine situation and remains of trenches, foundations 
of buildings, etc., discovered in the levelling and ploughing are all indicative 
of its antiquity. A 
small piece of paint- 
ed glass was found 
here bearing the 
arms of Redwald, 
king of the East 
Angles (the Prince 
who sohospitably be- 
friended Edwin and 
reinstated him into 
his birthright (the 
kingdom of Deira). 
Probably the relic is 
not earlier than the 
fifteenth century,yet 
it appears to illus- 
trate a tradition, 
connecting by its 
presence King 

Edwin and Osmondthorpe, and bearing on its face the story of Redwald and 
Edwin. The question naturally arises: Was this piece of glass specially 
designed and painted for Osmonds at Osmondthorpe, or was it filched at 
the dissolution of monasteries, or during the Commonwealth era from 
Kirkstall, or from any of the surrounding parish churches? The last 
conjecture is the most feasible, yet the singular circumstance of its discovery 
here, perpetuates one of the most notable events in early Saxon history — the 
hospitality of Redwald and deliverance of Edwin from exile, and the founda- 
tion of Angle Christianity in Northumberland. To this relic principally 




the old kingdom of elmet. 

we owe the legend (doubtless only a legend) connecting Osmondthorpe into 
a royal residence of the Saxon Kings, Edwin and Osway.* 

Neither the Ossetorp of the Domesday, nor the Osmund of the later 
Norman period lend freely to Thoresby's conjecture that the place received 
its name from its connection with King Oswy. In addition to the suffix 
1 thorp,' which establishes its Danish foundation, the two names attached to 

[ Dawson. 


this place are supposed to denote a certain regal dignity, namely, the prefix in 
Coneyshaw and Coneygarth — 'shaw' from the Norse, 'skogr' means a shady 
place; ' coney,' rabbit — and the position of the land here, shelving gently 
towards the Wyke beck (wandering through rich alluvial soil to the main 
valley), fully bears out this suggestion. The terminal, garth, purely Norse, 
means an inclosure, the ' garth ' and ' shaw ' establishing beyond a doubt 
its Scandinavian foundation. In ' shrog,' a bush or thicket, we have the 
Norse word almost unaltered. 

* Note. — Singularly enough, Dr. Lees, our living authority on Leeds botany, informs 
me that the Osmunda Regalis, whose English name is Royal Fern or King Fern, grew in 
the low-lying land towards Killingbeck, as late as the Georgian thirties : this is upon faith 
of a dried specimen of the late Dr. Heaton's, which came into his possession. The name 
is, of course, a coincidence only : the fern grew in boggy thickets on Adel Moor as well. 



After the Norman conquest a family named Osmunds settled here. 
" By deed, dated 1376, Thomas of Osmundthorpe gave to the chaplains of St. 
Mary's, an acre and a half of land in Osmundthorpe." From the Osmunds 
it passed by purchase into the hands of Sir James Ibbetson, Bart. 

The old Norman hall of the Osmunds is said to have been pulled down 
in the early years of Charles I., and the second one partly demolished 
in the year 181 4; and a large mansion erected near its site about the same 

date, now often 
tenantless, wears a 
rather melancholy 
and neglected ap- 

The situation of 
Osmondthorpe in 
the past would be 
charming indeed, 
standing on a com- 
manding brow, a 
magnificent land- 
scape all round. 

There still re- 
mains a late Tudor 
house of great inter- 
est, probably part of 
the old hall — now 
used as cottages, 
mullioned windows, 
stone courses, and 
door lintel being of 
artistic and unusual 
character, the finish 
of the mouldings 

rendered effective by a choice, but simple ornament. In connection with 

this place is a very extensive barn, in appearance much like a tithe barn, 

in length thirty-one yards.* 

Knowesthorp, locally known as Knostrop, a mile and a half west from 

the latter place — in olden times a more pleasant hamlet, luxuriant in trees 


To our query oue of the resideuts replied :— u All at ah cau tell ya that's t'owd hall." 



and flowers, was not to be found by the limpid Aire. Its place-name Thorp 
tells also of a Danish founding. The decorations at Knostrop Old Hall, 
early Jacobean, are considered unique. Whitaker says : " The great hall 
contains perhaps the latest specimen of a dais or raised step, for the high 
table, which is to be found in England." On either side of the gateway 
entrance, with its massive 'piers' finely decorated, are two quaint arm-chairs 
wrought in stone. There is a raised garden on the south side of the house 

and a pleasance adorned 
with stone figures. The 
house has undergone 
several alterations, the lower 
portion of the great hall has 
been converted into an en- 
trance hall, and during the 
tenancy of the late Atkinson 
Grimshaw, this fine hall was 
in its pristine condition, 
and the decaying hand of 
time had dealt leniently, and 
in keeping with its age was 
decorated with antique fur- 
niture, old armour, and bric- 
a-brac of olden time. One 
panelled oak room, beauti- 
fully carved and decorated, 
and the old oak staircase, still 
remain to prove the artistic 
quality of old-time crafts- 

l^no strop HavU 


In the days of Stuart kings, this was the hall of the Baynes family, of 
ancient lineage, an ancestor of whom was standard-bearer to the king, at 
the taking of Boulogne, in the early years of the fourteenth century. One 
Captain Adam Baynes represented Leeds in parliament, during the Common- 
wealth period — " He purchased the royal manor of Holdenby in Nottingham- 
shire from the parliament for ^29,000, but was obliged to refund the same 
at the restoration." He afterwards returned to Knostrop, where he died 
in 1670. A family named Stables seem to have lived at the Hall some time 
during the sixteenth century. Thoresby says they became tainted with 


Quakerism, and turned part of the orchard into a burying ground, a proceed- 
ing common enough with the Quakers, in the seventeenth and eighteenth 
centuries. At no time during its long career did the old Hall witness such 
an array of talented men, in art, letters, and music, as were from time to 
time seen here during the tenancy of the late Atkinson Grimshaw, and they 
always found a cordial welcome in this kindred spirit. Its unique decorated 
gateway, and old-time gables and mullions, inspired him with many a theme, 
and laid the foundation of that dreamy representation of the shadowy 
realm of the past which lives in his work, of which he was famed as a master 
of unquestionable ability. 

A mile and a half down the river, and adjoining Templenewsam Park, 
are the ruins of a mediaeval house (Thorp Stapleton). Thorpe again denotes 
Danish origin ; Stapleton, the name of an ancient family who resided 
here during the Norman and Plantagenet era : a name which still survives. 
Whether this family gave or took their name from this place we cannot 

Here, and at Killiugbeck, Osmondthorpe, Knostrop, Skelton, and 
Thwaite (over the river Aire), we have names unquestionably of Norse or 
Danish origin — places not in evidence until the latter part of the eighth or 
early years of the ninth century. 

At different periods during these centuries, the sea kings entered 
the Humber, and, following the course of the riverway in their war keels, 
found here a congenial site for a series of settlements. 

In a place-name the word " staple," of common Teutonic usage, means a 
barter place or market — to put into a heap for exchange of product — a custom 
which still prevails in the semi-civilized parts of the world, remote from large 
centres, the Far West, and interior parts of Africa, etc. " The word ' staple,' " 
says Isaac Taylor, " denotes a place where merchants were wont to stow their 
goods." At this day the word is chiefly used to denote the leading trade of 
a town : for instance, steel is the staple trade of Sheffield, woolcombing the 
staple of Bradford, and lace of Nottingham. In Staple towns, courts were 
held for determining all mercantile disputes, and punishing offenders. 

It was a fair region which the Stapletons, and, in later centuries, the 
Scargills owned. On one hand, a beautiful stream—the Wyke beck, came 
wildering in many a turn from the moors beyond Roundhay, passing, in its 
course, through rich alluvial soil (in pre-historic times the bed of a lake), 
and entered the Aire near to the Hall. Hereabouts, in its sylvan reaches and 
varied windings, the river passed through a delightful vale of undulating 




forest and fair meadow land. To-day, the hand of blight and death is only 
too apparent on the trees, caused by the poisonous fumes belched forth into 
the atmosphere from chemical works and factories.* 

Thorpe Hall — a semi- castellated structure of the early fourteenth 
century — is now in a ruinous condition. It stands on the north-east bank 
of the Aire, about four miles below Leeds. By a deed, witnessed near the 

end of the twelfth 
century, Sir Robert de 
Stapleton had license 
from the Templars, at 
their chapter in Lou- 
don, to build a chapel 
in Thorp Stapleton 
and to establish a 
chantry there, swear- 
ing fealty to the 
Templars and reserv- 
ing all offerings to 
the mother church 
at Whitechurche 
(Whitkirk). From the 
Stapletons Thorpe 
passed to the family of Scargill, of Scargill Castle, a border peel, which 
stood by the bank of the beautiful Greta, about two miles above Mortham 

* Arnold Lees says:— Beyond Hunslet and Knostrop, on the way to Woodlesford, was 
(half a century ago) a nearly level, low-lying tract of marshland and pasture turf; a pleasant 
Oval was there, and races were annually held. Hereaway, in the boundary dikes, grew the 
water violet, the serried ranks of its lovely blossoming stems piercing the clear dike water's 
emerald and bronze counterpane of two sorts of duckweed ; and by the river (still batheable 
in then) grew the orris-scented sweet flag with flower-de-luce, and the handsome great water 
dock. All these have vanished, but the doubtfully odoriferous flats of a sewage farm, gay 
with yellow rocket in late spring, and later with the unfamiliar faces of alien weeds, brought 
in sewage, and the scourings of foreign wool, are poor compensations. Still, as a whole, this 
tract is only a little drier and more treeless than it was in 1835. Even yet a little of the 
spindle tree, "that in our winter woodland looks a flower," as said Tennyson, referring to its 
pink-winged fruit with scarlet seeds showing as they open when ripe, drags on a miserable 
begrimed existence in the stubbed hedge by the river road. 

To the north and east of the tract already described, off the York Road, beyond the 
old and uncomely Dog and Gun public house, branched a charming and truly rural lane, 
named from its ancient foundry, where, from late in the fifteenth century to nearly within 
living memories, swords and ploughshares and coarser castings were manufactured. This 
lane, with its foundry pools and its "honey well" in a field, nurtured several rare and 


[A. Bottomley, 



Tower (the latter structure still remains near the junction of the Greta and 
Tees). The Scargills were a notable family in North Yorkshire (which the 
chapel 011 the south side of the altar in Whitkirk Church plainly demon- 
strates), founded by William Scargill, of Thorpe Hall, 1488. Within this 
chapel is an alabaster altar tomb bearing two effigies to the memory of Sir 
Robert Scargill, son of the founder, and Lady Scargill, his wife. 

Standing away from the main road the castellated ruin of Thorp Staple- 
ton (the only remnant of the Edwardian period remaining in the vicinity of 
Leeds) appears to be comparatively unknown, even people dwelling in the 
immediate vicinity have no idea of its former significance, and in some 
instances do not even know the place by its old name. 

Templenewsam and Whitkirk. 

Less than half a mile to the south we enter the magnificent domain of 

Templenewsam, with its beautiful avenues of venerable and majestic trees 

and long sweeping vistas, here and there obtaining glimpses of fallow 

deer browsing on the undulating green sward, glade, lawn, valley, 

striking flowers, the stately yellow loosestrife amongst them. This plant grins through the 
iron railings of Mount Preston gardens still, jnst possibly brought in, years and years ago, 
from this very foundry pool, as being plot-wortli3\ Wild plants were very largely so im- 
ported a generation or two ago. By the pool it can no more be admired for its fearless wild 
beauty. Long ago must it have been crowded out by an assertive plant, a very Titan, yclept 
the reedmace, more commonly called the bulrush, that in early autumn is sold in Briggate — 
a penn3 7 a stick — for the admirable use to which its massive brown clubs and swordy leaves 
can be put in chamber decoration. Fifty years ago this club-reed did not grow there, nor at 
Adel Dam, where now its thickset canes turn pond mud into dry land in the course of a few 
years ; then themselves, in their turn, passing to that bourne whence no individual thing 
returns. A parallel between animal and vegetable holds, and in many a way runs unseen 
through all life. 

To continue : From Seacroft, in a circling belt, two or three miles broad, across Whin- 
moor (then, as not now, a furze and ling clad waste), and round by Shadwell to Adel and 
Cookridge, all was moor or "moss," heathery for the most parts, fleece-white in acres with 
the waving plumes of hare's tail cotton grass, and with much wet, sandy peat about Moor- 
town and Alwoodley "black moor." The place-names describe it in brief. The scant 
remains of these " haggs " at far Adel to-day convey no idea of what lovely and uncommon 
wild flowers flourished thereabout then. There was waxen-fringed bog-bean for one, the 
unique grass of Parnassus for another, and where they grew red-copper butterflies and azure 
gauze-winged demoiselles (dragon flies) hovered above, amid " a world of heather," though 
not "an empty sky" by any means. All these treasures, and fifty more, were to be had as 
rewards for the long tramp from Queen Anne, in her niche at the top of Briggate to the 
Four Lane Ends at Alwoodley " gates." A long mile further, to the first plantation marking 
the commencement of the Harewood demesne, both Jacob's ladder and the flaunting sun- 
flower-like Leopard's bane, with blue geranium and spot-leaved lungwort, could be had 
for a stoop to gather. The Leopard's bane onlingers still; the others "are not," through 
transplantation into gardens, I believe. 



upland, and sequestered pool — a situation teeming with objects of natural 
beauty. Here, with the seclusion and the classic sanctity of quiet rural groves, 
the contemplative mind can revel in story and on the magic of romance which 
lingers here, and feast on the loveliness around ; peradventure in imagination 
hear the jingle of armour and obtain a glimpse of a goodly company of 
soldier priests, the Templars or Knights of St. John, sweeping down the 
distant forest glade. Here of old the tired wayfarer was never turned 
hungry from the Hall. ' Hospitallers ' they were, not only in name, but 
by nature. 

\W. G. Foster. 


At Templenewsam, we cannot omit mention of the Templars and 
Knights of St. John, but our citation must be brief. In Yorkshire the most 
potent benefactors to the two orders of Christian warriors were Robert de Brus, 
Roger de Mowbray, Robert de Stutville, llbert de Laci, the De Roos, 
and to some extent William de Viliers ; from the latter the Templars, either 
by gift or purchase, received the lands of Whitkirk, Skelton, and Newhusum 
or Nehus (Templenewsam). Viliers held the above of De Laci, Lord of 
Pontefract, a great benefactor, and a member of the order.* 

* The Paynes family were ardent Templars, more than three hundred knights were in 
the train of Hugo de Paynes in the first Crusade. John de Lacy was the greatest of all 
Christian warriors, and his name was a terror to the pagan at the siege of Damietta, and he 
was there surrounded by a court of Pontefract grandees, amongst the rest Master Roger, 
the Physician, parson of Kippax, his neighbour and fellow-parson, Robert of Aberford, and 
a good 'many notables and others, whose descendants still remain on the land, followed their 
Lord John de Lacy into Palestine. 


The rules for the guidance of the Templars were, at the formation, most 
exacting and rigid, and one cannot feel surprised they were not religiously 
observed. Only an ascetic could have contemplated a strong man, with all 
the fervour of life glowing in his veins to enable him to mingle in the con- 
flict and clash of arms, preserving strictly such rigorous devotion and 
excessive self-denial. Probably St. Bernard's ideal of a Knight Templar never 
existed. The statutes and rules of the order are too long for insertion here. 
There is a curious incongruity in this attempt to combine the monastic and 
military life.* 

In the wars of the Crusades the Templars were the chief strength of the 
Christian army. It was their privilege to carry the true Cross before the army 
when in battle, also the banner with the red cross inscribed upon it. On the 
march they formed the advance guard and the rear in retreat. The original 
banner was black and white and was called " Beauseant," which word 
became their war cry. The bones of thousands of these gallant knights 
were left to bleach on the plains of Palestine. 

Apart from the immense estates bestowed upon the Templars, they 
enjoyed great privileges and immunities, such as : 

The right of holding markets, advowsons of churches, and medieties of rectories, multure 
from wind and water mills, tributes of poult^, eggs, and swine, services of so many 
days in the year for ploughing, harrowing, ha)' making, sheep washing and shearing, 
mending ditches, and leading stones, rights of free warren, fisheries, and turbaries, 
and the manorial or baronial prerogatives of sac and soc, and tol and theam, and 
infaugethef and utfangethef. A charter of Henry III. grants them exemption from aids, 
danegeld, and horngeld, from stallage and pontage, from all forced labour on royal 
parks, castles, or palaces, and allows them to take timber freely from their woods, 
without impeachment of waste, and to essart (clear) those which they possessed within 
the limits of the royal forests, without leave of the royal bailiffs. The same charter gives 
them all waifs and strays on their lands, not followed and claimed, and the goods and 
chattels which any of their men might have forfeited by crime, and allows them, in 
case of any of their tenants forfeiting his fee, to take immediate seisin of it, although 
the King had a right to keep it in his hands for a year and a day. 

Certainly, a strange array of rights and privileges ! Who can feel surprised 
that such rapid rise to wealth and prosperity should in the end have caused 
their ruin ? 

A record still extant proves their aim at even higher ambition. It is 
a bond by which Peter Middleton, of Nesfield, near Ilkley, who had dispute 

* St. Bernard says of these knights : " They detest cards and dice, and abominate all 
shows, songs, and discourse of a loose nature. When they enter into a battle, they arm 
themselves with faith within and steel without; having no ornament either upon themselves 
or their horses. Their arms are their only finery, and they make use of them with courage, 
not being daunted either at the number or force of the barbarians." 



with the tenants of the Templars in Wharfedale, undertakes, under a penalty 

of twenty shillings, to be paid towards the fabric of St. Peter's at York, 

that neither he nor any of his tenants should take proceedings against the 

Templars in any court, canonical or civil, that he would not avail himself of 

any right of appeal that might 

be prejudicial to them, and 

that if he was injured by any 

of their tenants he would bring 

his cause before their court 

at Whitkirk. This was a 

usurpation which might well 

excite the jealousy of the 

courts of law, says Kenrick. 

The dress of the Tem- 
plars was a white robe with 
patriarchal cross, enamelled 
red and edged with gold, 
worn at the breast pendant. 
There was a slight distinc- 
tion between the dress and 
cross of the Knights Hos- 
pitallers and that of the 
Templars, although the system 
of the two orders was nearly 
the same. The former, who 
were also known as the Knights 
of Malta* and later the Knights 
of Rhodes, wore a black robe 
with a cross of eight points in 
waxed cloth on the left side 
of their cloak. In battle with 

the Turks, they wore, over all, a red cassock, with a large white cross before 
and behind without points. On the suppression of the Templars much of 

* About the time of the first crusade some Neapolitan merchants built a house on the 
island of Malta for the use of their countrymen who came hither on pilgrimage. Afterwards 
they built a church and dedicated it to St. John, and also a hospital for the sick, hence the 
name of Hospitallers. In U04 when the order became military they adopted the title of 
Knight Hospitallers. In 1310, when they captured Rhodes, the name changed to the Knights 
of Rhodes, and two centuries later, when they were expelled from Rhodes and took up their 
abode on the island of Malta, became known as the Knights of Malta, 


their property was transferred to the Hospitallers, who had upheld their 
martial fame in conflict with the Turks, in their gallant seizure and grip of the 
island of Rhodes, but the transference was, in many instances, only in name. 

Templenewsam was granted by agreement with the Hospitallers to 
the Countess of Pembroke for life, from thence it passed into the hands of 
the D'Arcys, of Temple Hurst, for the share of this family in the Pilgrimage 
of Grace. The head of the house was executed on Tower Hill, 1537. Falling 
to the Crown it was granted to the Earl of Lennox, and here was born Lord 
Darnley, the ill-fated husband of Mary, Queen of Scots. Again reverting to 
the Crown it was granted by James I. to his cousin, Duke of Lennox. 
From the latter it passed by purchase to Sir Arthur Ingram, a farmer of 
customs in the city of London. He married the daughter of Lord Fairfax, 
of Gilling, and his son took to wife a daughter of Lord Fauconberg, and 
thus the family became allied with the aristocracy of the north. 

The mansion, as it now stands, was built by Sir Arthur Ingram. It is 
a red brick structure composed of a centre and two wings, and forms a stately 
specimen of Jacobean work. One singular and effective feature of the house 
is the battlement composed of capital letters in stone work, forming the 
following inscription : — " All glory and praise be given to God the Father, 
the Son, and the Holy Ghost on High. Peace upon earth ; goodwill towards 
men. Honour and true allegiance to our Gracious King. Loving affection 
among his subjects. Health and prosperity within this House." The 
interior contains a fine collection of rare pictures, besides many other 
interesting objects and works of art. The chapel attached to the house is 
a perfect study as a work of art. 

The ancient mansion does not appear to have been completely demolished, 
for Thoresby mentions that the very room in which Lord Darnley was born 
remained intact in his day, and was known by the distinctive name of the 
" King's Chamber." During alterations made of late years positive proof of 
the existence of this ancient room has placed Thoresby's statement beyond 
doubt. There is no certain testimony where the preceptory of the Templars 
stood at Newsam, yet there is a tradition of a building known as the Old 
Temple having stood near to Wyke beck, north-east of the park. 


A small hamlet resting on the fringe of the park has a foundation 
reaching far down the aisles of history. The place is mentioned in Domes- 
day book in connection with Gipton (Cipetun and Coletun), and the record 




says there is a church there. The question here arises as to where this 
church stood, there being no evidence of such a church in after centuries. 
Morkhill, in his history of Whitkirk, supposes the edifice mentioned to have 
stood on the site of the present one at Whitkirk, and this conjecture we think 
is the correct one. 

[IF. G. Foster. 


Cipetun of the Saxon era stood more to the south than the Gipton of 
to-day and consequently nearer to the White-kirk, a name received, we 
should imagine, on its conversion from a dark wooden to a white stone 
structure ; its conspicuousness on the ridge of hill being as great as it is 
to-day, hence the White-kirk, Whitkirk.* 

From Colton fine views of Templenewsam and Whitkirk can be 
obtained. L,ess than a mile we reach the latter place, whose situation and 
surroundings are most charming. The present church, built about 1450, 
is perpendicular, the interior containing tombs and effigies to the memory of 

* Whitkirk. — The Kirk of the White-robed Templars, or else one dedicated at 
Pentecost, Whitsuntide. 


the Scargills,* mural tablets and memorial monuments to the memory of 
the Irwin family, and on the north wall, a memorial of John Smeaton, the 
celebrated architect of Eddystone. The stained glass windows are only poor 
examples of art. 

The history of Whitkirk is largely mixed up with Templenewsam, its 
old manorial rights and customs, and the prerogatives still exercised are very 
interesting. The Templars' crosses affixed to the buildings, both here and 
in Leeds, telling of former privileges and immunities, afford ample scope for 
the imagination. f The court for the two manors was formerly held at the old 
Manor House at Whitkirk (a late Tudor structure still existing). Both courts 
are now held at the Brown Cow Inn in the village. A modest gift of a penny 
apiece to thirteen ' pure folk ' of Whitkirk parish is contained in a codicil 
to the will of Robert Colyson, of York, mercer. The quaint and somewhat 
touching bequest runs as follows : — " That thare be deltt and geven to xiij 
pure folke in ilke parisshyn underwretyn xiijd ; praying thame hertly the 
hole parishyns to for gefe hym if he hadde ever any gude of thayres be 
bying or selling or any other wyse, and if any of thame hade evir any grete 
losse by him thay sail have amendis and asseth for thare losse and thaie 
will aske it, and if noon aske it, he prayes thame for Goddis lufe hertly to 
forgefe hym and pray for hym at the reverance of Gode. The whilke 
parisshins are thes [there follow the names of twenty-two parishes]." Printed 
in " Test. Ebor," p. 217. This document is dated 9th April, 1436, and was 
proved as a codicil to a Will of later date, 3rd October, 1458. 

Fine views eastwards can be obtained from the immediate vicinity of 
Whitkirk. In the distance the plain of Whinmoor, where the great battle, 
celebrated in early Saxon history, took place. A short distance from hence 
is Austhorpe Lodge, a red brick structure built in 1698 by John Smeaton, 
of Leeds, whose grandson and namesake, the celebrated engineer, was also 

* The tomb was erected in accordance to the wishes of Jane Ladie Scargill, of Leade 
Hall. "That is to saie, firste and principallie, I yelde and bequeathe my soul to Almyghte 
God, my Creator and Redeemer, to that most glorious immaculate virgine, our ladie Sainte 
Marie and to all the Copanyne in heveu, and my bodie to bee buried in the psh church of 
Whitkirke, within the chauntrie quere there besides my saide late husbande, where I will 
that myne executores within three years nexte and immediately ensuenge my decease shall 
cause a tomb of albaster to be maide and sette over the boanues of my saide laite husbande, 
and me withe such arms and scuptures as to my saide executors shall seme moste con- 
venient, the same to be in facion like to one erected within the Colledge at Macclesfield." 
Will proved at York, 24th Jan., 1546. 

t See sketch of crosses (page 78). 



born here in 1724. Near to the latter place is Ansthorpe Hall, erected in 1694 
by John More. It is a good specimen of a Jacobean mansion ; over the front 
door a plate bears the date 1694 and the initial letters of the builder so 
arranged, forming the name John More in full. Wilson's MS. says that 
the last of the Mores of Austhorpe was murdered in London in 1720. 


A little to the south, in the parish of Austhorpe, stands Barrowby Hall, 
the site of an early Danish foundation, of which the terminal "by" is 
sufficient testimony. The word "barrow" seems to suggest a burial place. 
During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries it was the residence of a 
younger branch of the Ingrains, who purchased it from the Laytons. 

In our journey by way of Bullerthorpe L,ane to Swillington church, we 
noticed the line of a Roman vicinal, which can be traced for some 
distance northward from Swillington, and pointing, when lost near Scholes, 
in the direction of Bramham Moor. Between Swillington and Bullerthorpe 


II 7 

it is marked on the Ordnance map as " Street Lane," thence it can 
be clearly marked running parallel with the road over the fields to the 
Selby road. At one place it is localised by the name of Roman-rig field. 
North of the Selby highway it is visible running down into the Cock valley. 
Near the beck, half a mile east of Stanks, it is very conspicuous; beyond the 
stream it is traceable over two fields, pointing in the direction of Scholes, 
Thorner, and Bramham Park. This road is supposed to have been traversed 
by Penda's army, composed of Angles and Celts, the former bent on crushing 
the growing power of the Angles dwelling in the North-Humberland, and 
utterly extirpating Christianity, which had already taken deep root among 

the members of his 
own family. We can 
easily understand 
the object of the 
Briton in joining 
Penda's armyin this 
campaign. The 
greatest danger to 
Blmet had always 
come from the 
north-east, and 
already the nation- 
ality of the Celt in 
Elmet was nearly 
exhausted. The 
ford in the vicinity 
of Swillington Bridge is the place where this army of invaders crossed the 
Aire. The story of that great disaster which overtook Penda in his final 
fight will not be told here. Nearly all who escaped the sword on the field of 
battle met their death by drowning whilst attempting to cross the swollen 
waters of the Aire. 

Turning to the left out of the Bullerthorpe Lane, through field-path 
and wood-glade, notable for the old thorn and bullace trees, we reach 
Swillington church (early English) ; situated on a gentle eminence, 
with most beautiful surroundings. At the east end of either aisle is a 
private chapel ; on the south the Lowther Chapel, in which are inscribed 
slabs and memorial tablets, also a canopied recess, containing a wooden 
effigy, probably to the memory of a Lowther. The burying vault of the 





Lowthers was beneath this chapel, from which, at the last restoration, were 
taken the ashes of fifteen bodies, including those of Sir John Henry Lowther, 
and which were reburied at the east end of the churchyard. The chancel 
contains ancient piscina and sedilia. There is a quaint inscription on the 
wall of the north aisle. The north chapel formerly belonged to the Greens, 
of Leventhorpe, now to the Leathers. That grand mediaeval display of 
heraldry formerly in the windows, which Dodsworth speaks of, has now 

[//'. G. Foster. 


In Swillington we find the first clan station planted by the Anglian in 
the seventh century north of the Aire. Leaving the park, beautifully tree- 
clad, and the hall with its associations of many centuries, we pass forward 
to Preston and Kippax. 

In our tramp to Great Preston we obtain fine views of Oulton, Rothwell, 
and Woodlesford. Down in the valley to the east is Garforth Bridge. A 
certain dignity of old time exists in the farms and cottages around. On the 


II 9 

crest of the hill beyond the cliff the spire of Garforth church forms an 
interesting landmark. 

Great Preston, judging from the testimony around, is a place of con- 
siderable antiquity. The old hall has undergone varying fortune of late, 
having done duty as the poorhouse, and is now a farmhouse! It stands on sloping 
ground at the foot of a hill, which rises immediately behind to the height 
of its roof, so that one can step from the ground into its upper rooms easily. 
The precursor of this hall was more pretentious, and stood on the hill 

overlooking the 
Aire valley, the 
latter being the 
tons, a family 
of very ancient 
lineage, whose 
names are 
found thickly 
strewn in the 
records of 

A most 
beautiful and 
artistic picture 
of Kippaxtown 
can be obtained 
from here. A 
deep valley 
runs between 
the two places, 
and on the hill side and crest of the ridge the town clusters finely, the church 
tower presiding, high above the roofs, the tout ensemble being most charm- 
ing. From our commanding ■ elevation we look over the broad Aire 
valley, and note, even at this day, how beautiful it is, though blurred and 
contaminated by the existence of many manufactories and coal mines. In 
the past, few fairer scenes of a lowland river and landscape existed in 

* Thoresby says: — " I rode by Halghton and Whitkirk to Preston-super-le-Hill, most 
courteously received by Sir William Lowther, whose house is pleasantly but very strangely 
situated. They go upstairs to the cellars and downstairs to the garrets." 

[P. Teasdale. 



The valley separating Kippax from Preston has undergone a certain 
transformation during the last half century. We note the impressure left in 
the earth denoting the former existence of a large pool of water and the 
long outline of a mill goit, suggestive of the old soke mill* of Kippax, which 
formerly stood hereabouts. These are the only evidences now remaining, 
yet there are aged people who remember corn being ground at the mill, and 
even the name of the miller (Robert Fowler). 

The entrance to the town from the south, with the rich colour on the 
roofs of the cottages, and the trees overhanging throwing long shadows over 
the road, added to the general contour, forms a picture of more than 
ordinary merit. 

Kippax is in the Skyrack Wapentake and situated in a district of great 
natural wealth, and stands on the summit of a limestone ridge, a fine 
elevation, overlooking a magnificent sweep of the lower Aire country, which, 
as we have already observed, is blurred to some extent by the many evidences 
of the industry of man. Still the beauty of the vale is apparent, and the 
wonderful panoramic vistas, reaching south to the Peak of Derbyshire, seen 
finely (when the atmosphere is clear) are simply charming. If we compare 
the Domesday ' Appraise ' of Leeds with Kippax, we find the latter nearly 
three times the value of the former. f 

There are various conjectures accounting for the orthography of 
the name Kippax. Dr. Whitaker and other writers suppose the word to be 
a mere corruption of the Keep-Esh, the first a large mound still existing 
near the church called a Kip, Keep, and the latter a huge memorial ash, 
which grew near, hence Keep- Ash (to protect or guard), Kipas or Kippas 
as it is still pronounced by. the natives. Another authority says "Chipe" is 

* Soc and Mui/TURE. Soc— The holding as tenant of real estate under certain 
considerations, condition, or service to his superior, which would be equivalent to rent. 
A soc mill claimed with it the privilege of grinding all the grain in the district. The miller's 
fee for grinding the corn was called multure (grinding). Some called it mouthing, taking 
his multure fee out of the mouth of the sack. They were suspected of taking more than 
was just. The people had a saying that honest millers had hairy palms. The old-time 
custom of tenure by soc lingers faintly at Harewood, where the farmers have to lead coal for 
Harewood house (one condition on taking a farm). We have observed them day by day for 
two or three weeks bringing coal from the other side of Leeds to Harewood. 

t "In Chipesch (Kippax) and Ledestune (Ledstone), Earl Edwin had eighteen 
carucates to be taxed, and there may be ten ploughs there. Land properly called Berewit 
(Berwick) belongs to this manor, in which there are eight carucates to be taxed, and there 
may be four ploughs there. Ilbert de Laci has now this laud where he has twelve ploughs 
iu the demesne ; and forty-eight villanes, and twelve bordars with sixteen ploughs, and three 
churches and three priests, and three mills of ten shillings. Wood pasture two miles long 
and one broad. The whole manor five miles long and two broad. Value in King Edward's 
time sixteen pounds, the same now." 



from " cheap," meaning a market — held near a prominent ash tree selected 
for the purpose. Coupled with Ledstone it was the centre- of a Power to 
which most of the surrounding places were subordinate. One feature of the 
old mercantile importance of Kypis remains in the fact that the Lacies 
never subinfeuded Kippax (as they did Leeds), but always held it in their 
own grip and so had the power of transferring any of its market rights to 
Pontefract as the latter place grew into greater prominence. The vestiges 
of the past existing at Kippax fully demonstrate its antiquity. 



To a student of architecture the church tells its story of Saxon origin, 
and in the immediate proximity stands the old keep, a circular hill of arti- 
ficial construction ; round its base are remaining portions of what has 
formerly been a trench. It is situated on the highest point of land in the 
parish. As at Barwick, a deep valley intersects*it on three sides. As a place 
of defence its value can be easily grasped. The centre of the mound is 



hollow, the sides of which form an elevated rim, thus giving the appearance 
of a basin : hence the answer we received from a villager to our question 
anent its name — " Why, we alius call it ' cheeny basin ' " (china basin). No- 
where, says Edwin Hick, is this local name mentioned in book or history, 
but is said to have been handed down traditionally by the people, for 
centuries. The keep is no doubt of British construction^ and used by those 

people as a place of security 
and defence, being situated 
only a few hundred paces from 
the great north road of the 
Roman — the Ermine Street 
— and also near to where the 
road penetrated the western 
flank of Elmet. The keep 
has evidently been the site of 
a manor house, in the feudal 
era, as the place is still known 
as Manor Garth, although 
not a vestige of such a house 

Down in the hollow, 
between Kippax and Garforth 
Cliff, is an old farm — Roach 
or Roche Grange — the im- 
pression around it clearly 
proves its antiquity ; it has 
evidently been moated. Here 
is to be seen all that 
picturesqueness and flavour peculiar to old-time places. Hellas, a monk of 
Roche Abbey, was abbot of Kirkstall in 1209 ; probably he built the Grange, 
and named it after his former residence. Tab or T'abbey lands, here is said 
to be only a corruption of " the abbey lands." ' Roche ' is Norman, meaning 
rock or stony cliff; a word commoner in place-names near Sheffield than 

iVmongst others who paid the tax at Kippax, assessed in the reign of 
Edward III., are two names very significant of the above Grange, namely 
John of the Roche, who paid six shillings ; and Roger of the Roche, who 
paid three shillings. 


^ A 



The approach to Kippax from the north, although distinct in character, 
is as full of charm as the one to the south. 

The Parish Church of St. Mary is a most interesting structure, part of 
the tower showing the Saxon herringbone work, and the north wall with 
the deeply- splayed windows, are undoubtedly part of the original structure 
dating from Athelston's reign, if not earlier. It has been partly rebuilt in 
the twelfth, with alterations in later cen- 
turies, and was thoroughly restored in 
1875-6. Some years ago, part of a Saxon 
cross was found built into the twelfth- 
century tower ; it is now in the vestry. 
Carved on the stone is a rude representation 
of a human figure, beneath is a rough 
ornamentation of interlaced work which is 
surrounded by a cable border. This anti- 
quated relic of art work in stone, symbolical 
of early Christianity, is very typical of stones 
lately found at Barwick, and probably dates 
from the eighth century, when the conflict 
of Angle and Briton had, to a certain 
extent, subsided in Blmet ; when a season 
of peace spread over the land, and Christi- 
anity took deeper root in the soil. Part of 
a stone coffin, now in the vestry, was 
found underneath the floor of the church. 
From marks of fire apparent on many of 
the stones, the fabric is traditionally sup- 
posed to have been partly destroyed by 
fire, at some early period. The few memo- 
rials in the church are chiefly to the Blands 
and Medhursts. 


On the east windows, previous to the restoration, appeared the 
following inscription, now lost : — 

" Guildford Sliugsby, soiine of Francis Slingsby, Knight at the Coronation of King 
James, 1603. He was often Commander of His Majesty's shippes at sea, and is now 
controller of the navie, 1631." 

The yellow- washed almshouses at the east end of the churchyard, with* 
their quaint mullions, are characteristic of bygone days. 



A new mansion now stands on the site of the old manorial hall of 
Kippax. The old house was pulled down in 1875 ; it was the home, in 
succession, of the Baildons,* Slingsbys, and Medhursts. This house is 
connected with the story of a sad domestic tragedy, committed by one 
William Wheler Medhurst about a century ago. 

On either side of the market cross stand two very old inns, and here- 
abouts the buildings are cobwebbed and crumbling in decay, bearing on 
their face furrows of age. There 
are several quaint features and 
picturesque bits worthy of men- 
tion, which space forbids us to 
dilate upon. 

Just on the outskirts of the 
village is Kippax Park, the 
residence of the Blands. The 
original mansion was erected by 
Sir Thomas Bland in the reign 
of Elizabeth. It has been con- 
siderably enlarged and altered, 
and only a part of the original 
structure remains. The mansion 
is nearly embowered in trees and 
stands on a slight ascent in a 
well-timbered and undulating 
park, with glimpses of browsing 
deer. It is still a most beautiful 
demesne,though not so delightful 
as of old, before the huge indus- 
tries of the Aire valley were in 
such strong evidence. Midway 
between Kippax and Ledstone 
ran the great Roman military 

road known as the Ermine or Ermyn Street, described in our chapter on 
Roman roads. 

This great 'street' came from the south by way of Lindum (Lincoln) 
to Danum (Doncaster) and so on to Lageolium or Lagecium (Castleford) ; 
from the latter it makes an angle and thence runs direct to Aberford. Near 

* A branch of the BayldonS, of Baildon. 


[£. Bogg. 


Headley Bar a branch road bears away to the right, crosses the Wharfe at Cal- 
caria (Tadcaster) and forward to York. The lapse of fifteen centuries and 
the cultivation of land has not yet removed the traces of this great mili- 
tary road. Between Doncaster and Castleford the ridge line is still traceable 
in many places, and if further proof is wanted it is to be found in the 
distinctive name of Roman Rigg given to certain lengths of it. 

De Foe, in his journeyings North, says : "We turned aside out of our 
way in order to see the great Roman causeway which runs across the moor 
from Doncaster to Castleford. The causeway in many places is entirely 
perfect, and in other places, where it is broken up, the courses appear to be 
of different materials, that is clay or earth, upon that is chalk, then gravel, 
upon the gravel is stone, and then gravel upon that. It is very easy to 
trace its course over moors and open grounds which have not been culti- 
vated." The district around Doncaster, the key and gateway to the north 
(lying between the wild peak and forest region on one hand and the 
inhospitable wastes of swamp and fen on the other), is a focus of vast 
antiquity. De Foe's account, too, is circumstantial evidence that the dry 
Permian limestone tract so definitely fixed was, in his day (about 1695), 
unenclosed common. 

The ford over the river was defended by a strong castrum, the ' danum ' 
of the Roman itinerary and the ' campo-donum ' of Bede ; and according 
to our theory the Don, in pre-Roman data, formed the southern border of 
the Brigantes. It was also the boundary of Elmet, on this side, until 
the latter kingdom was curtailed by the incoming wave of Teutonic invaders, 
ascending the Humberin their war keels, and from thence, using the principal 
waterways, the Trent, Don, and Aire, for highways into Yorkshire. 
Gradually by repeated invasions of fresh war bands, not by one great 
swoop, but slowly, year by year and mile after mile, did their keels and flat- 
bottomed boats glide upward into river and creek. All the while they 
were ousting the Briton and settling on the most favoured positions, until 
by the middle of the sixth century a great wedge of Bngle colonisation had 
been thrust in between the valley of the Don and the Aire, and westward to 
the upper reaches of the C alder. Thus they separated the Britons of 
Elmet (who fell back to their inner line of defence) from their kinsfolk, 
the North Welsh. 

This is no mere conjecture : the place-names, for those who care to 
examine, fully demonstrate this theory. Without placing too much reliance 
on the statements of GeofTry of Monmouth and several other ancient writers, 


who describe this region of the Don as a great theatre of war, the battling 
ground of rival races during the fifty years following the withdrawal of the 
Romans from Britain, the hapless struggle of the Celt to oust the Teutonic 
invaders, slowly but surely encircling them in a grip of iron, is evident until 
the kingdom of Elmet, which had risen out of the chaos and dismembered 
fragments of Roman power, became shorn and wedged into narrow compass. 

On the south the Aire valley formed its boundary; on the east the broad 
Ouse river and, of old, that dismal wilderness, a vast extent of swamp, 
morass, and peaty fen land, where the mists hung low and the wild fowl 
piped and wailed in countless numbers. On the north, the boundary 
in all probability, according to the testimony of place-names, was the 
forest region and trackless moorland between the Wharfe and the Nidd. 
Westward the frontier stretched back to the great natural barrier, the wild, 
sterile hill land of Craven. 

Here, and here only, had the Britons of Elmet, at the end of the sixth 
century, kept a connection with their brethren of Cumbria and Cambria, and 
this connection was sharply sundered early in the seventh century by that 
brilliant coup of Ethelfrith, the Engle king of Bernicia and Deira. Marching 
his army across the trackless moors of North Yorkshire, he swept resistlessly 
over the Pennines (the border line of three Celtic kingdoms), defeating the 
1 wild Welsh ' and capturing Chester. 

That this border line of Elmet was in many places almost naturally 
impregnable at that period, a glance at the map will show, and the Britons 
appear to have held to it in a strong grip, with almost the terror of despair. 
A thorough examination of the place-names on either side of the boundary 
indicated sufficiently proves this hypothesis. 

The Parish Church of Castleford occupies the site of the Roman 
' castrum,' and is located a few hundred yards below the confluence of the 
Aire and Calder. From all appearances it has been a Celtic fort, previous 
to its occupation by the Romans. It is on a fine elevation near to, and 
guarding the passage of the river. 

The foundations of the ford were quite distinct half a century ago. 
Tesselated pavement, Altar querns, Roman lamps, and other relics have, 
from time to time, been discovered here. Inscribed on an altar, dredged 
up from the bed of the Aire, at Castleford (now in the Philosophical Hall, 
Eeeds), appears the name " Brigant," in capitals. Perhaps there is nothing 
strange in this inscription, seeing that the stone has been planted by the 





Roman in the land conquered of the Brigantes. Other altars found in 
Yorkshire have the word Brigant and Brigantia, in varied forms of spelling, 
inscribed thereon.* 

The evidences of industry are so startling, and the hand of improvement 
so slow to beautify, that one need not be surprised that Castleford possesses 
little that can be called 
interesting or very pictur- 
esque. The church, built 
in form of a cross, is per- 
haps the most interesting 
feature. The adjacent colli- 
eries, glass bottle and 
earthenware manufactories, - 
provide work for several 
thousand people. Thomas 
de Castleford, a Benedic- 
tine monk of the fourteenth 
century, author of a history 
of Pontefract, was a native 
of this place. 

Anyone standing on the bold limestone elevation near Ledstone, 
looking south towards the Don country, and following mentally the course of 
the old road ascending from the Aire valley to the fringe of Elmet, will be 
forcibly impressed by the large number of Anglian place-names in the wide 
sweep of district before him, and will at once grasp the meaning of our last 
delimitation of the frontier of this British kingdom. The high ridge, rising 
boldly from what at that period would be marsh and fen by the low-lying 
land of the Aire (in itself a natural and outer rampart), runs like a frontier 
wall until it falls beyond Ferrybridge into the of-old impassable forest and 
waste of waters, stretching for miles around the banks of the lower Aire 

It was here, in his furious work of retribution and revenge, that the 
indomitable will-power of the Norman conqueror was brought to bay. For 
weeks, his large army was imprisoned, as it were, on the south bank of the 
Aire, not so much because of the strength or boldness of the enemy, as of the 
impassable state of the river, then at flood. Here the Norman king fretted and 

* See sketch of Roman altar and milestone, found in Castleford, in previous chapter 
on Roman roads. 



fumed, and swore by the splendour of God, for several weeks, ere lie could 
find a passage for his army over the river. If the difficulties of crossing 
this line of frontier were of such magnitude as to curb his fiery spirit and 
hold in restraint the great army led by the Norman king, in the eleventh 
century, we surely can better 
understand the physical as- 
pect of the district, and the 
difficulties which beset the 
army of invaders during 
the early centuries of Engle 





tenth century, between 
Aberford and Castleford, a 
smart engagement was 
fought by Danes and Saxons, 
the former being defeated 
and chased back along the 
old highway to York, the 
capital at that date of the 
Danish kingdom, but which, 
from this time, was changed 
from a kingdom to an 

Close by the road, in 
the Ledstone wood, is still 
to be seen the site of a 
dwelling adjoining the 
hill known as Mary 
Pannell hill. This woman 
was supposed by the people 
to be a witch. She was 
tried and convicted as such 
at York, for having be- 
witched to death one William Witham, of Ledstone Hall, who was buried 
on the eighth of May, 1593. Her place of execution was on the crest of 
the hill, near L,edstone, still bearing her name. There are old persons 
in Ledstone who claim that their great grandparents remembered this 
unfortunate woman, but how that can be is more than I can understand. 

[E. Bogg. 



Ledstone and Ledsham still retain, in the prefix, ' Lede,' the memory 
of the original Celtic people, the Lloegyr Ligures, from southern Europe, 
variously spelt Ludees, Loides, Leedes ; the ' ham ' and ' ton ' being grafted 
on in after centuries by Saxon settlers. The derivation assigned these 
places by Thoresby is rather curious, and, perhaps, in one sense, not so 
wide of the mark. 

Ledstone and its surroundings are, indeed, most enchanting. The village 
has a picturesque and old-world look, peaceful and slumbering. Sheltered 
from the north winds by the lofty ridge of Peckfield, the red-tiled roofs, and 
white-walled cottages and farms are all suggestive of repose. Built in the walls 
of a farm, adjoining the street, is a fragment of what appears to have been 
a Saxon cross. The Domesday book records that there was, in the manor of 
Kippax and Ledstone, three churches and three priests. Two of the three 
churches mentioned have disappeared, thus it is quite possible one of the 
above may have stood at Ledstone, and, if so, may account for the interesting 
relic still preserved in the farm walls. 

Ledstone Hall, the residence of the Whelers, stands in a most romantic 
situation on the edge of a grand elevation. It is a large Elizabethan 
mansion with picturesque gables, surrounded by magnificent trees, where 
the rooks nest, and in spring-time add a pleasing feature of interest to 
the house. Rather more than a mile, by a most pleasant footpath, over 
fields and through intervening woodland, we suddenly descend into a 
most rural and delightful little village (Ledsham). As we have already 
observed, the name speaks of a people, the Ledes, a tribe of Celts, who 
in after centuries accepted the suzerainty of the Angles. 

This is indeed a charming village, nestling in a secluded dell. Here no 
sound of manufacture or rough traffic disturbs the pastoral sweetness. 
Undulating slopes rise about it, pretty nooks of wood fringe its borders. 
Here the birds seem to pour out a richer volume of song. The lowing of 
cattle wandering from pasture at milking time, the bleating of ewes and 
lambs in the meadows, mingled with the merry prattle of children at play, add 
pleasure and charm to this Arcadian spot. Down the village street a little 
wimpling stream wanders and empties into a small pond, where the ducks 
and geese disport, and where the lanes converge at the village is a tiny 
green. Near to is the ancient inn, " The Chequers," where the political 
and social life of the village is keenly discussed, and here the tired 
wayfarer can obtain suitable refreshment and a smile of welcome from 
the genial hostess. All around are quaint and picturesque lichened walls 




—always proof of a pure atmosphere— and old trees, a medley of antique 
cottage, orchard, garden, and meadow croft, with their varied profusion 
of colour and bloom ; and the scent of old garden flowers is wafted on 
the breeze through the half-open casement, on which the sunshine so delight- 
fully lingers. Hard by at the east end of the street, on a beautiful woodland 
slope, almost hidden in frondage, stands the church of Ledsham. Its spire 

springing from a 
Norman tower, ar- 
tistically rising 
above the inter- 
vening branches, 
and adding a finish 
to a delightful vil- 
lage picture. 

The charities of 
Lady Betty Has- 
tings and Sir John 
Lewis are very pro- 
minent in the 
vicinity of the 
church, and the 

\E. Bogg. 


kindly deeds per- 
formed generations 

ago still bear good fruit, and form a far nobler monument than marble to 

their name, and peradventure one that will live longer. 

The interior of the church contains a Norman nave and tower ; north 
aisle and chancel are transitional. The Lady Chapel is specially interesting, 
from the tomb and monument it holds to the memory of Lady Betty 
Hastings. The south side of the tower contains a low quaint doorway, 
typical of Saxon work and often erroneously described as such ; doubtless it 
is only a part of the twelfth century Norman structure ; here also is to be 
seen the original Norman font. 

The vicinity of the churchyard is replete with interesting pictures, one 
of which is to watch the orphan girls, picturesquely dressed in old English 
costume, pass under the trees to and from service. Or, anon, to listen 
to the soft tones of the ring-dove, and the inspired harmony of the thrush 
and blackbird, or observe the halo of light flicker and fade away at sunset 
through intervening trees, transforming all commonplace objects into ethereal 


J 3I 

loveliness. At this hour Nature is so restful one hears the buzz of a 
belated bee, and sees the whirl of bats on the wing. The golden light has 
gradually changed to a silver hue, the church spire stands finely silhouetted 
against the light dying down in the west ; as we turn away, the lines of 
Bryant appeal to the memory : — 

t " My heart is awed within me, when I think 
Of Thy creation, finished, yet renewed for ever." 

Eedsham includes in 
its parish the hamlet of 
Newton and township 
of Fairburn. A little to 
the east of the latter and 
about a mile from Ferry- 
bridge is Brotherton, a 
on the frontier of our 
delimitation of Elmet 
and overlooking a fine 
sweep of the lower Aire 
country. The church, 
inns, and a few quaint 
houses are very interest- 
ing. Here the slain from 
the Ferrybridge fight* 
in 1461 (the prelude to 
the carnage on Towton 
Field) were interred. 
Here also, in a house 
adjoining the church, 
Margaret of France, 
second wife of Edward 
I. — (during a royal hunt- 
ing tour in this vicinity, 
and when journeying to 
the Archbishop's castle 
at Cawood) — was 
delivered of a son, 

* In coaching days the Old House at Ferrybridge was considered /the largest and most 
luxurious posting-house on the great North Road. 




afterwards known in history as Thomas-de-Brotherton. The king was at 
Selby and the news of the event so delighted him that he made large 
benefactions to the various religious Brotherhoods in the vicinity. The 
Archbishop of York had an ancient manor house here. 

At Brotherton, on two occasions, the infamous Isabella, Queen of 
Edward II., took refuge during the unfortunate campaign of her Consort 
against the Scots. In the great foray of Randolph and Douglas through 
Yorkshire, she fled to the city of York to escape being captured by the raiders. 


Byram Hall is a most pleasant county mansion situated in a delightful 
and spacious park, long the seat of Lord Houghton (Monckton Milnes), the 
poet and biographer of Keats, who is said to have written his famous and 
best-known song — " I wandered by the brookside, I wandered by the mill" 
— by the very stream running under L,edstone from Kippax, which empties 
itself into the Aire at Bull Holme Clough. 

Returning from L,edsham by way of Peckfield ridge (a bold elevation of 
woodland stretching from Kippax to Micklefield, a remnant of the older 
forest of Elmet), we descend by the Boot and Shoe Inn, standing at the 
fork of the Leeds and Selby road and formerly a resort of highwaymen, to Old 
Micklefield, situated on the fringe of the great coal beds. It still possesses, 
in its old cottages, farmstead and garth, etc., much to charm the antiquary.* 
On the great Roman road between Micklefield and Stourton Grange is a 
spot known as Soldiers' Hill, but from what circumstance it received this 
name we cannot say. 

* Micklefield was the home of Samuel Hick, the blacksmith preacher. It appears to 
have been the seat of a notable family. Hall garth and Castle hills are nomenal proof of 
past greatne ss. 



Stourton Grange, a moated site to the west of the North Road, is of 
Anglian origin, and has been a goodly residence in Norman times, as the 
evidences around it fully testify. 

Garforth stands on the high ridge of land dividing the watershed of the 
Aire and Wharfe. Of late years the place has grown considerably. The 
precincts of the church are most pleasant and picturesque. The old 
church, demolished in 1845, was an interesting fabric dedicated to St. Mary 
and given by Ilbert-de-Lacy to the Abbey of St. Mary. At the compiling 
of the Domesday book, a church existed here, thus proving the antiquity of 
Garforth. The new church is a beautiful building, and its spire a com- 
manding landmark. 

From Garforth cliff, a bold eminence, splendid views of Airedale and 
the valley of the Cock can be obtained. Round about the Old George at 
Garforth Bridge on the Selby road are to be found many charming bits of 
landscape and antique features of bygone days. 




The Valley of the Cock. 

IN the renewal of our journey, we follow the course of the above 
diminutive river, describing its features, historical reminiscences, 
ancient houses, notable battles, and incidents which have happened in 
this watershed. 

The Cock rivulet rises in the vicinity of Red Hall, the residence of 
Sagar Musgrave, on high table-land between Shadwell and Seacroft. After 
passing underneath the Wetherby road, its bed gradually assumes the appear- 
ance of a well-defined valley, curving in the form of a full-strung bow, 
whose extremities are not more than seven miles across, whilst the curve of 
the stream is at least fourteen miles. Grimes Dyke and the battlefield of 
Whinmoor lie on its upper reaches. From thence it flows between the 
villages of Scholes and Seacroft, leaving Old Stanks and Manston Hall to 
the right. 

Crossing the Roman vicinal, the stream bends in its course opposite 
Garforth, flows between the site of old Barnbow and Parlington Park, passes 
under the Barwick and Aberford highway at Ass Bridge, and just below is 
joined by its main tributaries, Eastdale and Guy-syke Becks, now forming 
a broad and deep valley, with the long series of earthworks in the woods of 
Becca Grange fringing the north bank. At Aberford, the river crosses 
the great ' Ermine Street,' and, immediately below, the earthworks Hue 
both sides of the stream. Further on is the old chapel of L,ede or Lead, and 
beyond on the south bank are the villages of Saxton and Towton, also the 
site of the famous battlefield. 

High up on the left bank, in a most commanding and picturesque 
position, its grey walls showing out finely from surrounding woods, is Hazel- 
wood, the feudal home of the Vavasours. Now in sinuous windings, the 
river, under the shadow of dense woods, sombre and melancholy as if 


reflecting the sad story and carnage of Towton, winds through willow-garth, 
and osier-holt, and finally enters the Wharfe at Grimstone Grange, a mile 
below Tadcaster. Near its margin were fought, in the years 655 and 1461, 
two of the most fearful battles on record. The object of these battles was, 
however, widely different. The first was fought in defence of country and 
Christianity, and for the overthrowing of Penda, the champion of paganism. 
The last was the struggle of Princely ambition, and for the lust of power, 
pushed to an extremity that almost involved the ruin of the nation. 

The first object of interest on Whinmoor is Grimes Dyke, a deep 
picturesque hollow in the bend of the beck, near to where it crosses the Leeds 
and York highroad. There are several dykes in Great Britain bearing the 
above name; for instance, Grimsditch to the south of Salisbury, the Grimes- 
dyke, near Streatley. The wall of Antonius is still known as the grime or 
Graemesdyke, and there is a Grimsdale, near Netherby, from whence the 
great border family of Graemes possibly received their name. The Saxon 
( dik ' meant a deep ditch or boundary : ' dike ' — grisly, horrid, is the same 
word ; ' grime ' — a witch, and ' grim ' — fury or to rave. 

Tradition assigns this portion of the valley to the battlefield of Whin- 
moor, and probably it is safest to follow the testimony of tradition in 
this instance. The most illiterate person will tell one of a great battle 
having been fought on the moor, near this spot, and the word ' grime ' — to 
blacken or befoul — locally associates this stream with the bloody plain. 
The monks have not made the circumstance of the battle more clear by 
their testimony, perverting their knowledge in favour of the victors, of 
whom they were the chosen, thus adding a certain amount of exaggera- 
tion and confusion to the story. 

That the action was fought in the kingdom of Elmet and near Barwick, 
the chief stronghold, there is no reason to doubt ; and that Whinmoor was 
the actual field cannot, perhaps, be disputed. Yet, since the time of 
Camden down to the end of the nineteenth century, historians have 
floundered, vainly trying to fix the scene of action elsewhere. From the 
river Went, near Doncaster, to Barwick the ground has been searched with- 
out definite result. According to our knowledge there is no river known 
as Winwsed. The name is probably derived from Wien, a brook, and Wsed, 
a ford. Bede, the first historian of the battle, says that it was fought near 
the river Vinwsed, in the country of the Loides. There is every reason to 
suppose that the battle took place on Whinmoor, not far distant from the 
Roman road which crossed the Cock a little below S tanks. The thirty 


legions led by Penda in this campaign would require a good road for their 
progress north, and here they would find such a road leading straight on to 
the battlefield, the high moor in the district between Bramley Grange, 
Morwick Hall, and Potterton. The invaders had the River Cock in their 
rear, which heavy rains had greatly swollen. Oswald's army was greatly 
inferior in numbers to Penda's, but, putting trust in God, the battle ended 
in the rout and slaughter of the Mercians. Of the thirty Ealdormen who 
marched on to the scene of battle, commanding as many legions, few were 
left to tell the story of ruin and disaster. From the scene of fight, the 
victors chased the vanquished back over the road they had come, and Bede 
says: — u More of them were drowned, as they fled, in the River Winwaed, 
then overflowing its banks, than fell by the edge of the sword." Thus the 
River Cock formed a grave for the Mercian army as it did for the Lancastrians 
eight hundred years later. Those who escaped the first scene of disaster 
would probably find the same end in the swollen waters of the Aire at 

Supposing the Mercians fled by the Roman road, the scene of carnage 
and drowning in the Cock valley may have taken place between Scholes, 
Old Manston, and Stanks, the latter name signifying pools of stagnant water, 
and thirteen hundred years ago would be a dangerous morass for an army 
in confused flight to cross. In addition to our knowledge of the ground is 
the story told by Bede, who says : — " The river was in flood," surely sufficient 
testimony for us to understand that the Cock swallowed up the vanquished 
in this fight, as it did those on that wretched Palm Sunday in 1461. It 
must not be forgotten by those who incline to think Bede would not write 
of the Cock beck as a ' river,' that the volume of water was much greater 
then, than now, when there is much less wood and more tile drainage of the 
open fields, and less obstruction to the course of water. The Cock within 
its hollow channel, judging by the eroded banks, must at one time have 
run six or seven feet deep. 

Morwick Hall, the residence of the Grays, situated on Whinmoor, 
half a mile east of the beck, is a plain-looking structure built towards the 
close of the last century. The late E. T. Gray was the last male representa- 
tive of this family, connected with Scholes from the sixteenth century. The 
family trace their descent from the Barons Gray of Rotherfield, ■ Scrutators' 
in the port of London during the reign of Elizabeth. The Grays were long 
resident at Kippax, and their coat-of-arms can be seen in the house now 
occupied by a Mr. Wilkinson. The name of Gray frequently appears in the 
parish register there between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. One 



Edward Gray, of Kippax, was Mayor of Leeds in 1749 and again in 1768. 
He built Morwick Hall and was buried at Barwick. 

In our journey down the valley, a little to the south of the York road is 
Penwell Farm and Pen or Penda's Well, which tradition avers is the spot 
where Penda and his army quenched their thirst previous to the fight. On 
the left bank lies the village of Scholes, of Norse origin (the Skali, a hut 
shelter). Scholes Hall, a seventeenth century structure, was long the 
residence of the Vevers. Potterton seems to have been the earlier home of 
this family. The will of Richard Vevers of the above place was 
proven at York in 161 1, and one Richard Vevers, his nephew, settled down 
at Scholes Hall soon after this date. Traces of the gardens are to be found 
in the meadows, and a little to the east the Barwick road runs over the 
remains of a moated site, where an old feudal mansion (the predecessor of 
the present structure) formerly stood. Apart from the hall there is not much 
to interest one in Scholes. Old Stanks on the opposite bank of the Cock is 
quaint with antiquity and crumbling with age. 

A mile down the valley on the sou-th bank is Old Manston. Manston 
Hall, an antiquated brick structure, sixteenth century, is not the original 

one. The Man- 
stons were a 
family of note in 
Elmet in the 
^ olden time ; they 
intermarried with 
the Gascoignes 
and resided here 
from the thir- 
teenth to the 
sixteenth century. 
plateau, com- 
manding the val- 
ley of the Cock. To the south a small ravine separates this mansion from 
Lasincroft*; the prefix (Mann) is of Celtic coinage, Mani, Manston, the same 
in Mancunium (Manchester), Le-Mans on the Loire, Menaw— the Isle of Man. 

* L/esincroft : Leys— meadows; ings— low fields; croft farm field, i.e., the c!roft 
house in the low meadows. A good instance of the duplication of equivalent terms, mean- 
ing the same thing, such as we have many instances of all over the country, i.e., Semerwater; 
Sea-mere-water; Seauier— Seamere, near Scarborough. 


Old Hal. 



Lasincroft, a few hundred yards to the south, still retains in its farm build- 
ings, garden, and also in the vestiges of a dried-up lake slight memorials of 
its former significance. Lasincroft and Shippen came into the possession 
of the Gascoignes by purchase from Geoffrey of Lasincroft, 1391, and their 
descendants eventually became established at Barnbow and Parlington.* 

As already observed, few vestiges remain. The househas been completely 
rebuilt, part of the ancient garden wall still stands, and a beautiful tree of 
immense growth and not a native to this soil flourishes— a silent witness of 
scenes long past. This many-armed tree is the Quercus Ilex of southern 
Europe, from Greece to Spain, and is known as the 'live oak,' because of 
its evergreen character and tenacity of life. From its great size, in spite of 
its continued vigour, this specimen must be nearly 400 years old, possibly 
dating from the later Tudor era, when foreign tree-planting came into vogue 
with continental fashions of garden-craft. An old stone paved footway 
leads from hence to Shippen (a farmhouse), its name indicative of Danish 
origin, and meaning a shelter for cattle, a very uncommon name in the dis- 
trict of the lower Wharfe ; in the Craven country every cowshed is called a 

Barnbow, another old hqme of the Gascoignes, stood a little distance 
away on the opposite bank of the Cock to the north. Little of the hall remains 
except the mounds marking the site of the foundations. Within memory of 
man several cottages, occupied by the attendants, were standing here ; now 
only one remains. 

The site of Barnbow is a fine plateau, and commands the country 
for miles. The Cock rivulet winds round its base in half a circle. The deep 
woods of Parlington spread to the east, Barwick church to the north 

* Rogerus de Quincy comes Wiuton Constabularius Scotiae et jure uxoris suae ; did by 
his deed, under a great seal of his arms, give Lasingcroft audSchippen, in the reign of King 
H., 3., unto Robert Walcott, paying unto him and his heyres a pound of pepper, or xij d - at 
Pentecost, which said Robert granted Lasingcroft and Schippen aforesaid, by severall deeds 
without date, unto Robert Walcott, his nephew, sonne of John Walcotte, his brother, which 
said Robert, the nephew, granted Lasingcroft and Schippen aforesaid, unto Geoffrey Wal- 
cott, his nephew, which Geoffrey, having no sons, but 3 daughters, one named Alice, which 
married to William de Baroby, als William de Lasingcroft, another called Margaret, being 
single and unmarried ; and the third married to the Lord of Parlington. The said Margaret 
dying without issue, gave her third part in Lasingcroft and Schippen, descended unto her 
from the said Geoffrey Walcott, her father, unto her sister Alice, of Baroby, als Lasingcrofte 
which said William of Lasingcrofte and Alice, his wife, had issue, John, of Lasingcroft ; which 
said John had issue Geoffrey, of Lasingcroft, which said Geoffrey sould Lasingcroft, Schippen, 
and diverse other lands, in the 15th yeare of the reigne of King R., 2, a.d., 1391, unto 
Nicholas Gascoigne, second son of William Gascoigue, of Gawthorp. — Har. MSS. 


peeps forth from the beautiful hill-and-dale landscape : further on are the 
woods of Potterton and Beckhey.* Bog I^ane leads from Scholes hither, its 
name and position indicate the existence of a former swamp ; of old this lane 
was a great resort of gypsies. The situation of Barnbow is well adapted for 
defence, probably it may only have been a domestic structure, but with very 
little strategy might easily have been made defensible. The becks on three 
sides of the house could soon have been rendered impassable. All is strangely 
changed at Barnbow; the old-time draw-well, with its hawthorn shade, still 
remains ; and indications of former buildings everywhere present themselves. 
Terraced walks, gardens, and trench are still visible, and hid in nettles 
and undergrowth are the foundations of retainers' cottages ; yet apart from 
these its past history is rather shadowy. The Gascoignes were evidently 
staunch Catholics of the old order, and did not fall in with the Articles of 
the Reformed church at the Reformation. 

The following is a transcript from the original MS. in the Bodleian 
Library, by Edward Peacock, F.S.A., and will doubtless prove of interest, 
as it tells to some extent the story of Barnbow and the Gascoignes, and also 
the names of several old families once resident hereabouts : — 

Barwick Parish. 

"John Gascoigue, Esq., of Barnebow, Anne, his wief, Robert Lambert, his serving man, 
Laurence Wilson, master of his colemyus (coal mines), Edward Bennett, his miliier at 

Hillome, Elizabeth Harrison, a servant, Ellene Ellys, a servant, Kathereu am 

a servant, Elizabeth Wortley, an antient servant there, she is thought to be a dangerous 
recusant in persuading; her surname is not certainly known: recusants reteynd, Mary 
Ellis, wief of John Ellys, Esq., a recusant. 

Thomas Thompson, Mr. John Gascoigue, his shepparde, Joan, his wife, Mawd Feild, 
wife to Robert Feild, labourer, Barbury, wief of John Robinson, servant to Mr. Gascoigne, 
Nicholas Harrison, a young man, a weaver, Isabell Massie, an old woman, Margaret Massie, 
wief of Cuthbert Massie, Ellyne Vevers, wief to Richard Vevers, Mr. Gascoyne, servant, 
John Slater, an old poore man, Elizabeth Gilson, a poor wedow, recusants for j yere, Mawde 
Gascoigue, mother to Jo. Gascoigne, Esq., a recusant, secret baptism, Mr. John Gascoigne, 
his children weare all secretlye baptised, and none of them came to ye church, nether is it 
knovvne where they were baptised." 

A mile to the east is the delightful domain of Parlingtou, ancestral and 
illustrious. It has been the home of Thane or Baron since the incoming of 
the Angle, and it is still the home of one of the best of county families, and 

* In the old meadows, off the old hollow Car L,ane, north of the site of Barnbow 
Old Hall, now marked only by uneven ground, and an old well shadowed by a gnarled 
thorn tree, great beds of pink-spiked bistort (formerly used as a pot-herb, and not a native 
plant) betoken with great certainty the existence of former settlements, such as accompanied 
the seat of the Gascoigne squires, in the days when the population of the Barwick region 
exceeded that of Leeds. 



never in its long career of a thousand years has it been more worthily 
represented than at present. Parlington is the residence of Colonel 
Gascoigne, the soldier son of a soldier family, whose banner has waved in the 
earliest and best of the ranks of English chivalry.* 

The men commanded by Major, now Colonel, Gascoigne of the 
Yeomanry, state how he upheld the honour and tradition of the old name 

in the last Boer war. 
Not only in feats of 
arms, but in the far 
greater chivalrous 
deeds — great quali- 
t i es not over 
common in leaders 
of men — sharing in 
the privations, 
labour, fatigue, hun- 
ger, thirst, and 
watching with al- 
most paternal care 
over the interests of 
those under his 

The Parlington 
Gascoignes are 
descended from 
Thomas, son of 
William Gascoigne, 
who in 1363 pur- 
chased land in Hare- 
wood of Robert de Insula, of Rougemont, and his wife Agnes or Anne, 
daughter and co-heiress of Nicholas Frank. This William was the grandson 

* Barnbow and Shippon was the scene of the supposed Popish plot, where Sir Thomas 
Gascoigne and others assembled to devise means to overthrow the Government and re-estab- 
lish the Roman Catholic faith. Regarding this plot there is a printed pamphlet, now very 
scarce, entitled "The narrative of Robert Bolron, of Shippon Hall, Gent., concerning the 
late Popish plot and conspiracy for the destruction of His Majesty and the Protestant 
Religion." Bolron, the accuser, was steward at Sir Thomas Gascoigne's coal mines, and 
dwelt at Shippon Hall. He had been brought up in the reformed faith, but, on taking 
service under the squire of Barnbow, he became a Roman Catholic, and he seems to have 
changed his faith as easily as his coat. 




of the William who married the daughter and heiress of John de Gawke- 
thorpe, with whom he had the manor of Gawthorpe. 

The first residents at Parlington with whom we are acquainted assumed 
the name of the place, and are known as De Parlyngton, occupying the 
mansion at the time Falkes de Brecante was at Harewood. They were 
succeeded by the Despensers. 

In 1336 Philip, son of Philip, son of Hugh le Despenser, le pere, shows 
that Hugh was in possession of Parlington. Philip, the son, married 
Margaret, daughter and heiress of Ralph de Gowshill ; holding the manor 
of Parlington, of the King, as of the crown by the fourth part of a knight's 
fee — (a tenure of lands held by knights on condition of military service). 
In 1404 a Philip Despenser held the manor by the seizin of half a knight's 
fee. These Despensers are the men who brought such trouble upon England 
in the reign of Edward II. In 1424 Roger Wentworth, Esqr., and Margaret 
his wife, heiress of Sir Philip Despenser and Elizabeth his late wife, held 
the manor of Parlington. 

Before the end of the century the Gascoignes were in possession and 
intermarried with the Vavasours, of Hazel wood. Dame Ivan Vavasour, 
widow of Sir Henry, died the 17th of September, 1462. The arms were 
Gascoigne, or, in a pale sable, a demi-luce nest couped or* In the chapel of 
Hazel wood " by the door lyes a blue marble, about two and half yards long, 
escutcheoned at corners," beneath which she and her husband are buried. 

* Or, gold. Sable, black. Demi-luce, a pike's head. The fourth stage in the life of a 
pike fish, first a jack, second a pickerel, third a pike, and last a luce, hence the lucys or luces, 
pikeys. Couped, cut off smooth and even. 


Barwick and Aberford Districts. 

BY lane or field path, intersected with pleasant little vales falling sharply 
to the main stream, we reach Barwick, the ancient capital of Elmet. 
The town stands in the angle — or, more properly speaking, tongue — 
of land formed by the meeting of Eastdale and the Cock beck. Its situation 
is naturally strong, being almost surrounded by water — forming a peninsula, 
the neck of which is only about half a mile across. Thus in the past it was 
practically encircled by a marsh-forest, which, even in dry seasons, could 
soon be flooded by damming back the flow of waters. Even at this day 
the valley on the north side is, in wet seasons, a dangerous morass to traverse, 
as the late rector, Canon Hope, demonstrated on one occasion in crossing ; 
he floundered deeply and required assistance to be extricated. 

High above and commanding the country around, is the 'Barrach' or 
'Barugh' (bar and heugh, a prominence in modern north English and Scotch) 
— see Great and Iyittle Barugh near Malton — a high mound, the stronghold 
of the Celtic kings of Elmet.* Tradition asserts that this place was also 
a royal residence of Edwin, the first Anglian king to partly subdue the 
Britons inhabiting this district. That it is of great antiquity cannot for a 
moment be disputed. The inner or centre of the system of entrenchments 
was of old known as the 'Auld How,' now Hall Tower Hill, and is a conical 
mound enclosed by double trench and rampart. The inner trench closely 
encircles the base of the mound, which stands about seventy feet above the 
level ; the outer edge of the ditch measures two hundred and seventy yards 

* A British city or stronghold was not what is usually understood by that term. In 
the first instance, the spot chosen was one difficult of access by nature, river, forest, and 
swamp intervening, and the large space which took the name of city, surrounded by ram- 
part and ditch, the edge of the latter, strengthened by pointed stakes and a wall timber 
paling surrounding it. Such was known as an oppidnm, — the Latin name for a fortified 
wood enclosure of the Britons; the Saxon term being a wick, as in Berwick and Barwick— 
and formed the chief centre of a British tribe, 



round ; there is a flat three-sided space outside the inner trench, but the 
rim of the circle is broken on the south, where it comes abruptly in contact 
with the outer rampart. To the west and north the ground shelves- sharply 
down to Eastdale Beck, or the * Rakes.' The mound is supposed to have 
been enclosed by a wall. The outer rampart, when first raised, would be 


twice its present height, and to all intents would have the appearance of 
a high earthen wall, its exterior defended by a deep trench or hollow way, 
which encircled the outer edge of the fortifications, still to be distinctly 
traced. The primary object of this high mound is not fully evident. It 
has not the appearance of having at any time supported buildings. The 
space between the inner and outer rampart is ample for the accommodation 
of a large host. Thus, originally, the mound may have served as a gathering 
place for spectacular demonstration, either religious, civil, or military. 



Professor Phillips supposes the name of the village is derived from the 
Gaelic word ' barrach ' — a high mound, and the centre of an ancient popu- 
lation : thus we have ' bearruc ' and the ' bearruc wudu ' — a forest, from 
which name Berkshire has come, and ' bibroci ' — a people, from either of 

which the word may 
be derived, or Irish 
and Celtic, 'barrack- 
ad' — hut or booth, 
in places a hut or 
house for soldiers. 
Again, Hall Tower 
or Castle Hill points 
to an ancient tra- 
dition, assigning the 
spot to a royal, or at 
least a chieftain's 
residence. And 
again, its ancient 
name, ' The Auld 
Howe,' seems to 
suggest a tumulus — 
the burying-place of 
an ancient race, ' the 
mighty chiefs of old.' 
Many similar 
mounds, though 
perhaps of less di- 
mensions, have 
given up their dead, 
on being excavated. 
There is a tradition 
in Barwick that the 
earth needed for the 
construction of Hall 
Tower Hill was car- 
ried hither in sacks, formed from skins of wild beasts. 

Just to the north of the hill, and joining on to the same system of 
earthworks is Wendel Hill, quite as interesting, and of a much larger area, 
oval in shape. The trench, in many places, is still sixteen feet in depth, 

[E. Bogg. 



enclosing several acres. On the north it runs sheer along the high bank, 
and over two hundred feet below is a deep, marshy hollow — l The Rakes' — 
erosion by water on this side having formed an almost impassable barrier. 

Thoresby quaintly observes, in his description of the place : " I came in 
quest of the Roman way from Bramham Moor to Barwick, where I found, 
on the north side of the 

town, a considerable 



is very high 
on both sides. 
I traversed about three 
hundred paces upon the 
height of it, but there 
found obstructions that I 
could not easily surmount 
in my boots. The high 
bank, which is somewhat 
circular and winding, is 
called the Wendal Hill."* 
Within and without 
the enclostire many relics 
of the far past have been 
found, and considerable 
quantities of human 
bones, from time to time, 
have been discovered. 
The plot of land recently 
added to the churchyard 
is thickly strewn with 
human bones— a funeral 
barrow of our departed 
ancestors. Altogether, the barwick, showing remains of cross. 

prehistoric fortifications existing at, and stretching eastward miles from 
Barwick, prove this ground to be one of the most remarkable places of 
antiquity to be found in England. There is a sanctity and veneration that 
still hovers around these prehistoric foundations stamped with the impress 
of long ages. 

* Query : to what obstruction does the antiquary refer? Thoresby prejudges, and 
perhaps misleads, by using the Roman word 'agger' (an artificial heap) so frequent in 
Ctesar's Histories, whereas the original bank is one of natural formation, added and adapted 
to purposes of defence by the Brito-Celts. 



1 T&Wht&& 


Lingering here, one tries to pierce the shadows and mysteries of other 
times and learn something of that struggle which took place between rival 
races, the Briton and his Teutonic adversaries. From the landing of the 
latter and their settling along the Yorkshire coast, to the partial subjugation 
of Blmet, at least two hundred years elapsed, proving how long and bitterly 
the war was waged. 

Barwick still retains its Maypole and customs associated therewith ; it 
is renewed every third year. The rearing of the pole is made the scene of 
great rejoicing and festivity; from city, town, and village, crowds of people 
pour in and help to swell the tumult and babel. The echoes of the past are 
reawakened, and Barwick, as of old, is, on these occasions, truly the capital 
of Blmet. Midway between the high mound and the stately church, the 
Maypole is upreared ; in close proximity stands the base and portion of 
shaft of the market cross. 

A very suggestive superstition clings to this Maypole, though, perhaps, 
to those in other places as well ; this is, during the uprearing, the timber 
mast (spirally striped in colours symbolic of red blood and white may — the 
renewal of life) has a baleful quality about it, as it were, the personified evil 
of a Pagan idol ; and whoever is struck by it in the process (needing quite 
two hundred willing arms) is worse than lamed for life. As a Keswick 
rustic phrased it, to a friend of the writer, explanatory of an imbecile son, 
and gravely as of an indisputable truth, " He got knocked at Barwick" (#>., 
with the Maypole) "and was silly ever after." "Knocked at Barwick" is 
a saying for miles around when speaking of a person with weak intellect. 

The village is remarkable for its character and charm, yet, strange to 
say, the writer has met with several intelligent persons who, although no 
strangers to Barwick, are altogether ignorant of its high mound entrench- 
ments, and the great antiquity pervading it, and even the name of Elmet 
sounds as foreign and unmeaning to them as far-off Timbuctoo. 

The two great churches of Elmet, Barwick and Sherburn, are alike 
dedicated to All Hallows, thus marking their Pagan source and also the 
Christianity the Angles received from the Celts upon their first becoming 
possessors of the old kingdom. Two other churches dedicated to All 
Hallows are those of Harewood and Otley, which to some extent goes 
to prove the communal boundaries of the little kingdom. 

The church is a commanding perpendicular structure, with massive 
tower, dominating the village. It is built of two kinds of stone, limestone 
and sandstone ; in the west face are two canopied niches, one containing 



the statue of a Vavasour, who gave the stone for building the tower. The 
inscription reads : " Orate pro Henrico Vavasour, Anno Domini, 1414." The 
other niche contained the statue of Richard Burnham, a former rector 
of Barwick, and benefactor, who besides contributing towards the tower 
also built the Tithe Barn. An inscription on a door lintel in the 
rectory grounds bears out this. The church underwent a complete 
renovation in 
1856 under the 
supervision of 
Geo. Fowler 
Jones, of York, 
but in some pre- 
vious restoration 
vandalism has 
evidently run riot, 
and many objects 
of archaeological 
interest have been 
swept away. Only 
lately the writer, 
whilst inspecting 
a small private 
museum, was 
shown a "holy 
water basin" said 
to have been re- 
moved from Bar- 
wick Church at 
the last restora- 
tion, probably 
belonging to one 
of the side chapels 

there. The Gascoigne was on the north and the Ellis chapel on the south, 
the former contains an emblazoned window with the Gascoigne arms, also 
those of the Vavasours and Ellises. 

The chancel is the most ancient part of the fabric, and doubtless contains 
Saxon masonry, bearing a close resemblance to the architecture of that period, 
particularly to the chancel of the church at Jarrow-on-Tyne. It certainly 
contains examples of the original pre-Norman church, but the objects which 

The figures 

(Taken before the last restoration — nearly fifty years ago), 
in the foreground are those of the late Rector (the Rev. Canon Hope) 
and his Curate. 



testify to the antiquity of the fabric are the Runic sculptured stones, which 
have been removed from the walls under the supervision of the present 
rector. Who shall say that these venerable relics are not a portion of 
Thridwulf's Monastery, formerly situated in the wood of Elmet? Two 
historians, Simeon of Durham, and Roger de Hovedon, state that Eanbald, 
Archbishop of York, died at this monastery in 796. Burton's Monasticon 
Eboracense relates that of ten monasteries founded by Scottish monks (of 
Iona or Culdee training) in Yorkshire, the last of them was founded at 
Barwick-in-Elmet in 730. 


The carving of the figures on the stones is grotesque and rude, and 
not by any means the work of an artist who has been taught the ordinary 
rudiments of sculpture, or attained any knowledge in the Ligurian or con- 
tinental schools, such knowledge as even the Italian artists of the seventh 
and eighth centuries possessed, for they were in direct touch with classic 
masterpieces— thus the carving on the stones is the work of a person who 
has received no art training, hence the uncouth modelling of the 


To definitely locate the site of the Monastery is beyond our power. 
The site probably rests between Barwick and Pbtterton. The former has 
the stronger claim. At the latter place, however, many vestiges found during 
the nineteenth century point strongly to a religious edifice having formerly 
existed there.* 

The churchyard contains the body of Billy Dawson, the celebrated 
preacher and a native of Barnbow. Barwick teems with association to, and 
memories of this worthy, and the beautiful chapel lately erected there is 
to his memory. 

About the middle of last century one Mary Morritt, a woman who it is 
said was gifted with double sight, used to watch the church at midnight of 
St. Mark's eve, and she professed to foretell the death of any person in the 

* The temporal side of its ecclesiastical position has maintained itself with great con- 
stancy at Barwick. The financial worth of its rectory, reflecting all the wealth and benevo- 
lence that may have first created it, has kept it one of the prizes of the northern church. 
According to the returns of 1525 its position stood thus : — 

Barwyke in Elmett Rectory— Thomas Stanley, Incumbent. 
The Rectory, worth in together with the glebe, the tithes of garbs, oblations, £ s. d. 
and all other profits and emoluments belonging thereto, demised to farm 
for ^30 yearly ; the farmer to find a chaplain for the cure and pay him as salary 
ioos.; in all yearly .. ... ... .. ... ... ... ... 35 o o 

Reprises in— 

Money paid yearly in pension ... to the prebendary in the chapel of the 
Castle of Pontefract, 25s.; and similarly to the Archbishop "singuli" (for 
himself individually), 2s. 6d. ... ... ... ... ... ... 176 

The clear yearly worth ... ... - £33 I2 6 

The tenth part thereof ... ... ... 373 

Like Bolton Perc)', a fat rectory had an absentee rector. The bitter scorn with which 
Chaucer had assailed these absentee shepherds a century and a half before, was equally 
merited in the days when the nation was demanding drastic reform, and, moreover, in a 
temper to enforce it. It made a great effort, but do the annals of the New-Style Church say 
that it accomplished its aim ? 

There was also a well-endowed chantry in the church : — 

Chantry oe Barwick in Elmet— Richard Elys, Incumbent. 
The chantry is worth, intents and forms of divers closes, viz.— £ s. d. 

One close in the tenure of William Barden, 29s.; of one close called Brounclose, 
40s.; of one close in the tenure of William Briggs, 20s.; one close in the tenure 
of John Jakson, 13s. 4d.; and one close in the tenure of William Diconson, 
8s. yearly ; in all ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 5 10 4 

In old rent, repaid to our lord the king, issuing from the aforesaid .. ... 126 

Clear yearly value ... .. ... £ 4 7 10 

Tenth part thereof ... ... ... 089^ 


'The old kingdom of elmet. 

parish during the following year, by the flitting of their figures passing 
into the church during her annual midnight vigil. It is said that the death 
of her own husband was the last she foretold. 

North-east of the church are the sites of former extensive lime quarries ; 
Barwick lime being acknowledged of the best, and it was used by Smeaton in 
the construction of Bddystone lighthouse. Here the road winds down the 
steep bank to Potterton Bridge, and the trench connecting Barwick to the 
earthworks can be traced running along the face of the high bank from 
Wendel Hill to some hundred paces beyond the road, from hence it falls into 
the valley, climbs the opposite bank, and in its zigzag course runs along 
the edge of the hill known as Becca Banks to Aberford. 

Here, where the road crosses the .beck by bridge in the deep hollow to 
Potterton, was, in bygone times, the scene of many a flood and washing 
away of bridges. The pre- 
sent structure was erected 
about a century ago, and 
the workmen, in digging 
for the foundation, came 
upon another complete 
structure, probably buried* 
with debris in some great 
spate, and which succeed- 
ing floods and their 
accumulation had com- 
pletely hidden. From 
hence the road winds 
through a deep hollow to 
Potterton view of barwick from the east. 

The old way to Kiddle (or Kiddhall) Hall — another case of duplicated 
terms — from Barwick, the way by which the Ellises wended to and 
from church, is by the street called Bow Hill, running between the 
two entrenched positions over the Rakes, by a wooden bridge, thence 
into a lane locally known as Dark Lane, a deep old hollow road where 
the pack-horse route crossed before the present Leeds and York turnpike 
was made. Nowadays we only find vestiges of it here and there. 
Opposite Potterton it crosses Dark Lane at Copple Syke Spring. Half a 
century ago five skeletons were unearthed near this spring. As no informa- 
tion could be obtained respecting any burial here, it was supposed by the 



late Canon Hope that they were the bodies of those who had committed 
suicide, since such were formerly buried near to cross roads, and not in 
consecrated ground. 

Beyond Potterton the old hollow road can be traced for some distance 
towards Tadcaster. A little distance beyond Potterton, on the open moor, 
stood the house of one Johnny Monks or Manks (his son and grandson were 

«p_ -~>f/*/>4« tf* 

a^ffs^w* ^ 

KIDDAI,!, HAI,!,. 

both called Johnny). It was here the pack-horses were changed and left 
in charge of Manks, while the relay went forward over the moor to the 
accompaniment of jingling bells fixed on the head of the leader. This 
1 belling ' was a gay custom of old, and not without purport. Was it to warn 


of approach, or hearten the beasts to put ' best foot foremost ' ; or to keep the 
attendants' courage up after the fashion of the whistling schoolboy of the 
poet, by dark ways in dark times ? 

Kiddle Hall is situated by the side of the Leeds and York highway, a 
little over a mile from Barwick. It is a semi-domestic structure dating 
from the early fifteenth century, some portions belonging to even an earlier 
date. From the thirteenth to the eighteenth century the important family 
of the Bllises flourished here, the last member to reside at the hall being 
William Ellis, who died in 1725. Before the making of the high road, the 
house was surrounded by a beautiful park, and wild moor encircled it 
on three sides, conjoining with the ' white car ' — white because of its sheets 
of silky cotton-grass — and the ' black fen ' portions of the Bramliam 
demesne. The map-names alone remain to tell us how the features of 
this district have unrecognisably changed in a hundred years ! 

During the Civil War a skirmish took place on Whinmoor between the 
Cavaliers and the Roundheads, which ended in the complete rout of the 
latter. Fairfax was gradually retreating across Bramham Moor, before a 
much superior force of Royalists. After crossing Potterton Beck and 
reaching the next high land, they were suddenly confronted by another 
body of Royalists who had reached the moor from the north side of 
Bramham. The enemy attacking both in front and rear, the soldiers of the 
Parliament fled ; many were slain or taken prisoners, whilst Fairfax and 
the cavalry escaped with difficulty into Leeds. 

During alterations at Kiddle a secret room was discovered, in which 
were found a coat-of-arms and other relics, supposed to have been hidden 
during the Civil War. Tradition says the place is haunted by one John 
Ellis, killed by the Parliamentarians previous to the skirmish on the moor, 
March, 1643 '■> tne Roundheads, ransacking all the houses in the vicinity for 
food and drink, possibly met with opposition from the Ellises, who were 
staunch Royalists. To this day people tell one the troubled spirit of the 
slain Ellis cannot rest, and still flits mysteriously around the precincts of 
its former home. The house, if not imposing, is very picturesque ; the 
peculiarly shaped bay window, added in the first year of the fifteenth century, 
is full of interest, and on it is the following inscription : 

li &vate pro ai-baz Pom (f Ips et Jlmia uxoris sue qui istam fenestram 

fecerunl Jlmto S>ni p. §.§.§§.§•" 

Above is a battlemented parapet, with pinnacles adorned with a trailing 


pattern of vine leaves and grapes, under which are many symbolic ornaments 
and devices.* 

Land between Kiddal and Hazelwood, seventy or eighty years ago, was 
unenclosed, and it is still known as Bramham Moor, although now enclosed 
and cultivated. It was formerly the scene of many highway robberies, and 
also the abode of numerous ghosts, warlocks, and barguests (or bar-ghaist, 
literally, bier ghost), who nightly peregrinated, to the terror of women and 
children. One strange, weird, wild, superstitious belief tells how, at death, 
the soul in a kind of probational journey must pass over the wild waste 
of " Whinney Moor." Over the dead body the death-song, a dirge-like 
lament, was sung. It told that if the person had bestowed alms, and per- 
formed other good works in his pilgrimage on earth, there need be no dread 
of crossing the wild waste of Whinney Moor, but, on the contrary — 

" If hosen or shooii thou never gave none, 

Every ueght and awle, 
The whinns shall prick thee to the bare bone, 

And Christ receive thy sawle." 

Then the soul passes over the " Brig o' Dread" to " Purgatory Fire," and 

" If ever thou gave either milk or drink, 

Every neght and awle, 
The fire shall never make thee shrink, 

And Christ receive thy sawle." 

Around the district also linger many old-world legends and super- 
stitious customs, such as putting the bees into mourning. On the death of 
a member of the household, the event is announced to the hive, which is 
draped with crape, and the bees served with biscuits soaked in wine ; 
the ritual is known as ' telling the bees,' and should the practice be 
neglected, it is firmly believed the bees will die. Striking the door key 
on the fire shovel is a sure expedient to bring back to the hive a swarm of 
bees. Death warnings, mysterious signs and omens, etc. : — a swarm of 
bees alighting on a dead branch is an unlucky omen, and sure sign of death 

* In Torre's Testamentary Burials several notices occur of this famil}'. — " William Ellis, 
of Kiddal, Esq., made his Will, proved April, 1515, giving his soul to God Almighty, St. Mary, 
and All Saints, and his body to be buried within ' Our Lady's quire ' of the Church of All 
Hallows', in Berwick. Wm. Ellis, of Kiddal, Esq., under his Will, proved November, 1573, 
giving his soul (as above), and his body to be buried on the south side of the chantry 'quire,' 
of the Parish Church of Berwick-iu-Elmet. Mary Ellis, of Berwick-in-Elmet, gentlewoman, 
made her Will, proved February, 1630, giving her soul (as above), and her body to be buried 
in the Parish Church of Berwick-in-Elmet, near unto her late husband." 



in the family ; children born at midnight are supposed to see ' doubly,' 
that is, have vision in darkness as well as in light, and are known as double 
or second sighted.* 

We now return into the main valley by way of Potterton, the residence 
of the Wilkinsons. Here, where the three lanes meet, is locally known as 
Morgan's Cross, and the name of the adjoining croft is Manor Garth. In 
the hedgerow yew trees flourish, and formerly the valley sloping down 
towards Bar- 
wick had the 
appearance of 
a dark, solemn, 
and mysterious 
grove, so dense 
were the large 
s p r e adi n g 
yews.f The 
yew-tree is a 
native of the 
limestone tract 
of Yorkshire, 
but the finest 
trees were sad- 
ly lopped in the 
days of arch- 
ery ; some 
large very old 
ones still exist, however, on the dry wold beyond Bramham, about Oglethorpe. 

To the west of Manor Garth is a wood enclosing a double trench and 
rampart. This, oral tradition supposes to be the site of King Morgan's 
castle. Who this King Morgan was we cannot determine for certain, yet 

* Connected with this district, by a happy chance I am able to give a unique photo- 
graphic reproduction of a foster-mothered cuckoo, hatched in a titlark's nest (on the railway 
bank, near Scholes station), having shouldered out (as is the habit of this ungrateful 
chick) the last rightful nestling. This was in early July of 1901. The foster mother 
and father did their duty in feeding their wonderling, and, so far as local watchers 
could make sure, they successfully reared an alien to wing its maiden way over wide leagues 
of foam to its first spring or second summer in a far-away foreign land. 

t A small field at this place is named, to this day, the King's Paddock. 



the place is strangely significant of both a church and stronghold,* and 
here, says one, any native born can inform the stranger that on this site, in 
olden time, stood a church which was demolished and burnt by the Scots in 
one of their raids. 

The supposed monastery of the most reverend abbot and priest, 
Thridwulf, Bede states, stood in the wood of Elmet. In support of 
this story, there were found in Manor Garth during alterations, about the 
middle of the last century, three stone coffins, one of which may still be 
seen in the dog kennels adjoining Potterton Hall ; and in the gardens, etc., 
at the latter place, are various bits of church relics in stone, which tradition 
reports are from Manor Garth. f 

Passing from the latter place we wander down the pleasant vale to 
where the becks meet. A little nearer Barwick the Ass Bridge spans the 
Cock, and a few paces to the south in the wood and on the edge of the high 
cliff, is a fine view of Barwick (see reproduction) . 

This spot is also the scene of the apparition of the cliff lady, a crepus- 
cular spirit, often seen in years gone by. 'Twas said to be the restless ghost 
of a lady believed to have been murdered at Parlington. A belated 
traveller relates that, in passing this spot, a carriage emerged from the wood 
and crossed the road in front of him, and he distinctly saw the white face 
of a lady, but he heard no sound of horses' feet or crunching of wheels, as 
the carriage mysteriously glided away. At other times, she has been 
revealed by the moonlight washing her dress by the beck side. Apart from 
this apparition, in olden time the Padfoot, with huge saucer eyes and clank- 
ing chains, nightly held the bridge, to the terror of the village lads and the 
continual dread of the superstitious ; and the people feared to pass the spot 
at midnight. 

The road from Barwick to Aberford, fringing the beautiful domain of 
Parlington, is most pleasant ; avenues and groves of fine trees, whose 
umbrageous branches cast lovely shadows, alternating with pretty little 
dells of sunlight. 

* Pelagius, who denied original sin and asserted the doctrine of free-will and the merit 
of good works (fourth century), and who was the founder of Pelagianism, one of the heresies 
that crept into the early British Church, was a Briton by birth, and his name, in Celtic, was 
Morgan ; thus it is quite within the bounds of possibility that he may have been connected 
with a religious house here, and the place, Morgan's Cross, named after him. 

t Potterton was formerly noted for the manufacture of a coarse kind of pottery, such 
as milk bowls, stewpots, etc. 



The path by the River Cock is even more charming to those interested 
in all the wonders of creative nature, luxuriant and beautiful in wildest 
loveliness, where bee and butterfly love to flit and roam from flower to 
flower. The bloom of the wild rose, the creamy tint of the elder blossom, 


and the graceful meadow-sweet, the spikes of the Canterbury bells gleaming 
in the hedgerows, the chequered flickering of light, imaging the sun's 
form ; while the air is perfumed with the fragrance of flowers and scented 
with the odour of meadow grass and pine wood. 


J 57 

Wandering through such pastoral scenes we are apt to forget the toil and 
sorrow of life, yet above us in the woods of Beckhey, twisting and curving 
with the beck, are the Celtic earthworks carrying the mind back to the stern 
strife of bygone days ! 

Crossing the water at Becca Mills, now partly in ruins, we follow the 
rampart to Aberford. 
The word Becca, or 
Becka, has a very much 
older form in Beckhaugh 
or hey, making it Norse 
and probably meaning 
the hillock at the beck, 
as the little river is 
always designated the 
" Beck. " Becca Hall 
stands on the north bank 
of the Cock, in a small, 
yet beautiful park, the 
residence of A. T. 
Schreibner, Esq. It was 
anciently in the posses- 
sion of the Grammarys. 
In the seventeenth cen- 
tury it was in the hands 
of the well-known 
Carvill family, and from 
thence passed to the 
Markhams. Sir Clement 
Markham, K.C.B., the 
worthy historian of the 
Fairfaxes, is a grandson 
of the Hon. William 
Markham, of Becca Hall. 


Aberford — Aber (Celtic), a confluence, with a ford, apassageover a stream 
or river — hence Aberford. The name has, however, been written variously — 
Aberforth, Abbeyforth, and Edburforth, the two latter names throwing some 
suspicion on the derivation of its name from a confluence at the ford. It 
was undoubtedly an adjunct to the great station at Barwick, both in Celtic 



and Angle times, its boundaries reaching to the Norse settlement of 
Grimston and Kirkby. 

Aberford church is dedicated to St. Ricarius or Ricquier, not the 
English saint of that name living during the thirteenth century, but the 
St. Ricarius of the seventh century. Although existing in ages so far apart, 
strange to say, the lives of the two men have much in similarity, both in 
character and incident. The 
dedication to St. Ricarius is 
most interesting. This saint 
appears to have visited England 
about the middle of the seventh 
century, the period when the 
little Christian kingdom of 
Elmet was falling from the 
grasp of the Celt into the hands 
of the Engle-folk. Why then 
should we not attribute this 
church to the memory of the man 
who may have visited the Celts 
in Elmet, and preached to 
them in the great station at 
Barwick ? 

The church, with its former 
traces of vast antiquity, is a fine 
building, enlarged, and in some 
degree repaired, in 1821, when 
the early Norman chancel arch 
was barbarously used ; it was 
rebuilt in 1861, except the 
tower and chancel, the former 
being restored in 1891. The 

Registers date from 1540. The patronage of the church passed from the 
Grammarys, who presented it to the knightly family of Walkyngham in 1230. 
The latter held it until 133 1, when it was appropriated to the provost and 
scholars of the house of St. Mary at Oxford, collegiated in that university, 
and now Oriel College, to which it still belongs. 

The churchyard contains several fragments of antiquity, in shape of 
stone coffins, etc., and its situation, high above the street, is very beautiful. 



Near the south wall rest the remains of u Sammy Hick," the famous black- 
smith preacher of Micklefield. The church contains a stained glass window 
to his memory. The old people still relate a miracle performed by Sammy 
Hick. Between Hook Moor and the south end of Aberford is a disused old 
windmill, where the miracle is said to have been performed. There had 
been a long spell of calm, dry weather, and there was no flour for the seed- 
bread wanted at the love-feast on the coining Sunday. Sammy had great 
faith in prayer, feeling certain that the meal would be forthcoming ; so he 
went forth with the wheat to the mill, and began earnestly to pray. Strange 
to say, his 
prayers were 
The sails and 
millstones be- 
gan slowly to 
revolve, until 
grain suffi- 
cient for the 
purpose was 
ground. News 
of the mill in 
motion soon 
spread, and 
other persons 
with corn to 
be ground 
appeared, but 

for them there was no favouring breeze, for, like St. Thomas, their faith 
was not even as large as a grain of mustard seed. 

One John Walton, vicar of Aberford, who died in 1640, attained the 
remarkable age of one hundred and fifteen years. The parish is healthily 
situated, which its record of longevity proves. The Register shows that 
nearly thirty persons have reached upwards of ninety years since 1780, and 
two persons have died over a hundred years, one reaching one hundred and 
seven. Amongst the long age records are the names of Helen Hick, who 
died in 1795, aged ninety, and one Robert Hick, mason, who died in 1845, 
aged ninety-two. 

John Hick (doubtless ancestor of Sammy Hick, the well-known 
preacher) was a celebrated manufacturer of pins, locally known as a 



'pinner.' This John Hick left " £50 to ye poor of ye p'ish of Abbaford, 
the interest or clear rent whereof (after a purchase made) is to be divided 
amongst them three times every year for ever." 

The following tragic event, in connection with this church, is on record, 
June 26th, 1347 : — " A general sentence against those who entered Aberford 
Church, and killed John de Byngham, clerk, whilst kneeling before the 
high altar in prayer." 

Strange to say, Aberford is not mentioned in the Domesday Book, 
although the adjoining manors of Parlington and Hazel wood are recorded. 

Aberford has always been favoured for residential purposes. When the 
Edwards, in succession, for more than a century occupied the throne, and 
came north on their rounds of war or pleasure, the quiet little town was one 
of their hunting stations. State documents still exist in connection with 
this place, enacted by each of these monarchs. From Edward I., in 1302, 
one of the barons Despencer, then owner, obtained a charter* for a weekly 
market there on Wednesday, and also a yearly fair on the eve, day, and 
morrow of the feast of St. Dionis (Denys). The worthy Longshanks knew 
the place and patronised it on more than one occasion during his war 
journeys north. 

Just on the south of the village are the almshouses, an institution 
for the aged poor. They were erected in 1844 D Y Maria Isabella and Elizabeth 
Gascoigne to the memory of their dearest father, Richard Oliver Gascoigne, 
and their beloved brothers, Thomas Oliver and Richard Oliver Gascoigne, 
all of whom were carried off by death within the short space of twelve 
months. The institution is for eight pensioners, four of each sex, who have 
been tenants on the Parlington or Lotherton estates, and who are upwards 
of sixty years old. The hospital is a stately pile of architecture, with a central 
tower ^and beautiful Gothic chapel, and, with the woods of Parlington in 
the background, forms a noble picture. 

The Roman Catholic Church, dedicated to St. Wilfrid, contains 
exquisite old coloured glass windows. 

Camden, in his Britannia, says : " We travelled along the bold ridge of 
the Roman military way to Aberford, a little village by the side of the way, 
famous for making pins, which are in great request among the ladies. 
Below this runs the River Coc, called in books Cocker, and in the descent 
to the river are to be seen the foundations of an old castle called ' Castle 

* The first charter for a weekly market and an annual fair was obtained by Henry-le- 
Grammar}- about the year 1250. 



Carey.' " This castle, probably built by the Normans on an earlier founda- 
tion, is also mentioned by other historians. Its site is in the grounds belonging 
to the residence of Miss Wharton, known locally as Abbey House. 

Traditions of a monastery erected in 655 by the Scottish bishops, trained 
by Columba in Iona, linger around this spot. There is no positive evidence,* 
yet there are certain vestiges indicative of such a house, which may have 
been despoiled and burnt by the Danes two centuries later. But what is 

[IV. G. Foster. 


absolutely more certain, the spot is the site of a Roman fortification, built 
to guard the passage of the Cock. It is situated on the tongue of land 
between the latter beck and the deep ravine, down which filters the little 
stream rising on the confines of Hook Moor, known as the Crow, or Craw. 

* Burton says that the second of the religious houses built by the Scottish monks in 
655 was at Abberford, Newton Kyme, or Tadcaster. All places are on the line of the old 
road, but which place has this honour of sanctity seems uncertain. 



That the Normans had a fortification on this site we have undoubted proof, 
apart from the testimony of Camden and other old historians. As we have 
observed, in bygone years a good market and fairs were held, but grew 
less each succeeding year and are now things of the past. 


The place is unique in appearance and character, and entirely different 
from other villages in the basin of the Wharfe, and consists chiefly of one 
long well-built street, rising from the beck to the opposing ridges on each 

From different points of vantage, interesting landscapes are to be viewed. 
The church, with its tapering spire, surrounded by umbrageous trees, rising 
above the house-roofs of the town, forms a very pleasing scene ; the old corn 
mill, its waterwheel and ivied cottage, and hard by, the slender aspiring 
poplars ; the valley spreading west through lush meadows, with the 
twisting stream, and the bold wooded escarpment partly hiding the trenches 



of Becca, which bring to mind far-reaching memories — historic scenes 
which pierce the mists of a remote age. 

From the bridge, the view north or south, along the course of the old 
Roman street, which has oft resounded with the tramp of armies and the 
rumble of mail-coaches, has features interesting to the antiquary and his- 
torian. The old ruined windmill, minus the sails, perched on the hill slope 
east of the town, 
silhouetted against 
a pale blue sky, 
over which huge 
pack clouds are 
sailing westwards, 
casting deep shad- 
ows on the land- 
scape, and two 
quaint white- 
walled cottages 
abutting on the 
circular structure 
of the mill, make 
a striking picture 
in this hill and dale 
belvedere; one 
which probably 
commands the at- 
tention of the tourist 
more than others, 
although only a 
thing of yesterday 
compared with the 
antiquity of objects 

around: notably the great Roman way — the Ermyne Street — running, as 
we have already observed, from Castleford over Hook Moor, where the high 
causeway is still in good preservation. 

Thence the present road passes along the side of the old road until 
reaching Aberford. A little distance north of the town, beyond Black 
Horse Farm, the Roman street bears away to the right of the present road, 
and here it is a very conspicuous landmark, running over the fields, a high, 
compact ridge, 



Practically cultivation seems to have had little effect in lowering the 
ridge of this original Roman road. At Nip Scaup, or Nut Hill, by the side 
of the ridge, is an old farm, where the family of the Noverleys have 
dwelt for hundreds of years. Report says they came in the train of the first 
Vavasour, and were huntsmen for that House when most of the land here- 
abouts was wild moor, fen and forest. A little distance south, where the old 
and new roads part, formerly stood a cross ; Highcross Cottage keeps its 
memory green. Immediately to the north of this place there is a length of the 
Roman road remaining. It diverges from the present turnpike and passes 
over the cultivated fields in the vicinity of Headley Bar ; the present road is 



* b 7 a/u,r/ un gs 

— jScale, — 

on the track of the Roman way. Apart from the high ridge, other proofs 
of this old road are strongly in evidence. Here in the fields, after the culti- 
vation year by year, a long line, almost of snowy whiteness, is brought to 
the surface. This annual earth-ghost is due to the upturning of the Roman- 
way subsoil, chiefly by the plough, but in part by worms, and its subsequent 
disintegration and bleaching by the weather. Down in the little valley 
immediately to the west, there is a fine well of water, known as the " Duke 
of Buckingham's Well." From evidences here there has formerly been a 
substantial house hereabouts. There is a local tradition which needs no 



comment : it says that the Duke of Buckingham, riding from the battle of 
Towton, fell sick of flux ; being advised of the astringent properties of 
the well, he drank and was cured. 

From Windmill Hill we may behold, mentally, the legions of Honorius 
passing southwards never to return ; and picture the natives watching 
the departure of their imperial masters, to some a source of pleasure, to others 
of sorrow ; emblazoned banners wave, yet the cordon is tightly drawn : 
Rome calls afar to her sons for help. Thus our thoughts mingle with scenes 
of far-off days and present times. 


.> ,-' vf'.\ 

1 W" 



In coaching days Aberford was a place of some fame. The " Swan" 
and the "Arabian Horse," with their quaint settles and picturesque interiors 
are evidences of bygone bustle and far greater prosperity. Sixty or seventy 
years ago, Bramham Moor, " the home of howling winds," was quite 
enlivened by the passing to and fro of mail-coaches. Now and again, when 
the hounds meet at the crossing of roads, the scene partakes of the character 
and picturesqueness of the past. From one coach named the " True Blue," 


a native of the moor, now fast approaching fourscore, told the writer that as 
a boy it was his duty to obtain a copy of the ft Leeds Mercury," the price of 
which was sevenpence-halfpenny. 

Bramham Moor is said to have been a rendezvous of Nevison, the cele- 
brated highwayman, and the " Black Horse," now a farm, is the place 
where, report says, he baited his famous mare during his fabled ride on her 
from London to York. 

In our journey down the vale we follow the south bank and note the 
entrenchments known as the Woodhouse Moor Rein, — rein or rine, a strip 
or stripe —which extend from Aberford, south east, to Lotherton. Professor 
Phillips regards them as part of a system of earthworks of an ancient popu- 
lation having its centre at Barwick, but whether raised by Briton or Saxon, 
he could not be certain. Doubtless this great system of earthworks, so 
complete in their design and carrying out, are pre- Roman, or were con- 
structed as a barrier against the invasion of the latter people. They are so 
linked together from Wendel Hill at Barwick to the swampy lands of low- 
lying Lead, and in some places running on both sides of the river, east 
and west, and show by their contour a preconceived design. To this 
day they remain a great monument of that very eventful period to the 
Briton— the coming of the Romans. Here by the roadside is Mr. Young's 
small museum of curios and antiquities, many of which have been found in 
the district : flint implements, Roman coins of Constantinus and Faustina, 
the famous (and infamous) Empress of Rome. 

Hidden in a recess across the road is the old market cross brought hither 
from Aberford, which formerly stood by the churchyard near the old 
vicarage. It was removed from there during the time of plague, and the fairs 
removed hither also, and such was the fear of the plague that the purchase 
money was placed in a trough containing water, and taken out by the sellers, 
and here in the hedgerow the old cross still rests. A strange and pathetic 
interest invests this silent testimony to the fearful plague-time of long past. 
'Tis a pity the old stone cannot be removed to its former site, it being a relic 
around which, to some extent, the history of Aberford centres. The registers 
of the church tell a fearful and pathetic story of that terrible visitation, 
when the families of those infected were compelled by force to live with 
those smitten fatally, and receive, as it were, their certain doom. 

Half a mile beyond we turn aside to the right, and a few hundred yards 
brings us to Lothertoif (Lutterington of old). The surroundings of the 
place are wonderfully picturesque. The antique ivy-clad and gabled house 



by the road side, with the large overhanging trees, are typical of the past. 
But apart from this picture the tiny hamlet contains a little private chapel, 
belonging to an old manor-house, and not much bigger than the squire's pew 
in some chapels. Like a jewel in a casket, it is hidden by dense foliage and 
interwoven with ivy. In the" summer time, with the exception of the bell 
gable, it is completely hidden to the passer-by, and to the casual observer 
its claims to beauty and antiquity are lost. Yet the little chapel is 
capable of teaching a most instructive lesson, which the thinking pedes- 
trian cannot afford to neglect. As a relic of an age we are apt to despise as 
barbarous, it is a striking reproof to modern times and builders. Only 
when one has passed through the 
intricate maze of foliage and 
reached the entrance doorway do 
we grasp the evidence of its anti- 
quity. The north doorway, now 
walled up, is decidedly Norman — 
twelfth century. There is an 
ancient holy-water stoup of the 
same age as the arch of the north 
door. The east window is a small 
narrow slit. The deeply recessed 

windows, hidden on the outside 

by dense foliage, give the interior 
an air of gloom. The fittings are 
of the rudest description. Through 
the cracks in the roof tendrils of 
ivy have crept and now hang from 
the roof to the floor of the chapel 
in clusters ! The interior of the 
building is 54 feet by 21. Needless 
to say, service is not held in the 
chapel now. The venerable relic 
is in a most dilapidated condition, 
now evidently used as a pigeon cote, 
and a place for fowls to roost in. 

The estate was a part of the Archbishop's barony of Sherburn : hence 
Sherburn is the mother church — nearly four miles away, while Aberford is 
little more than a mile. Richard de Lutterington held a knight's fee there, 
in 1202. In 1 25 1 the manor went to Robert Haget, treasurer of York, and 






Gilbert Bernevale, his assign, who died in 1276, leaving daughters, 
Albreda and Cecily. Albreda had a son, Gilbert Conday; Cecily was 
married to Gilbert Neville, but it was found that Gilbert Bernevale, before 
his death, had granted the Lotherton lands to Joan, daughter of Alan Samp- 
son, of York, and had placed her in full seisin of them. Afterwards, 
however, the Nevilles and Sir Robert Fourneaux seem to have divided the 

estate. John Neville, of 
Lotherton, took a pro- 
minent part in the 
disastrous Scottish Wars 
of Edward II., com- 
manding a portion of 
the West Riding men 
who were at Bannock- 

After them the Gram- 
marys occupied, and, in 
1495, Sir Guy Fairfax 
confirmed Lutterington 
and other lands to his 
son Guy: u Rendering 
thereof to Sir Guy 
one red rose yearly, at 
the Feast of the Nativity 
of St. John Baptist ; " 
and so it was that the 
little chapel of Lother- 
ton, where the knight 
has kept his vigils before 
starting on his journey 
to the Holy Wars, told 
the tale of England's 
glory from the Crusades 
to Marston Moor; and 
from thence Major (now 
Colonel) Gascoigne rode forth to take part in our late war against the Boers. 

A mile further down in the vale is the little Church of Lead, or Lede 
(another proof of Celtic occupation), erected in the thirteenth century as a 




private chapel to Lead Hall : in bygone days a place of some importance, 
now deserted and falling to ruins. In the early centuries it was the home 
of the Teyes family, afterwards the Scargills. 

About this very ancient domain Iceland tells us not a little of what we 
want to know. He saw it about 1540, and thus reporteth : — " Aberford is a 
poor thoroughfare on Watling 
Street. Cock Beck springeth 
west of it and so runneth through 
it, and thence, by much turning 
to Lead, a hamlet where Skargill 
had a fair manor place of timber. 
Scargill, late knight, left two 
daughters to his heirs, whereof 
Tunstall wedded one, and Gas- 
coyne of Bedfordshire, the other. 
Cock Beck after crosseth by 
Saxton and Towton village and 
fields and forth into Wharfe 
River, beneath Tadcaster." 

In its palmy days this fair 
domain, with its then timber 
manor-house and outbuildings, 
as described by Leland, must, 
indeed, have been a charming 
spot. In the midst of fertile 
meadow land stands the church ; 
the ground on either side rising 
more boldly, encloses the pictur- 
esque vale. The eye that loves 
to rest on quiet scenes, and see 
the inexhaustible beauties of natural detail, finds much to admire here. 

The interior of the chapel is very roughly furnished with a few rude 
benches, a plain deal communion table, font, and an ancient chest. On 
the floor are four tombstones, from which the brasses have been removed. 
The arms on the tombs are a fesse with three mallets ; also the names of 
Margeria, Baldwinius, and Franconis, members of the ancient Teyes family. 

Margaret was the daughter of Roger le Teyes and niece and heiress to 
Walter le Teyes, Baron of Steingrieve, who also owned lands in Yorkshire, 




Bedfordshire, Essex, and Buckinghamshire. He was summoned as baron, 
February 6th, 1298, and fought in the Scotch campaign. He and Henry le 
Teyes were the two barons who affixed their seals to the letter addressed to 
the Pope from the Parliament held at Lincoln in 1301, protesting against the 
Pope's interference with the claims of Edward I. to the crown of Scotland. 


A Franco Tyays, of the county of York, was summoned to come, with horse 
and arms, to Parliament at Berwick. Walter le Teyes died in the eighteenth 
year of Edward II. ; Margaret, his niece and heiress, being about twenty- 
six years of age. A representative of this old and important family remains 
in the person of the Rev. James Tyas, the present Vicar of Padiham.* 

* The Tyases held Lede Hall for some generations. In 1278 Franco le Tyays having to 
answer for free warren and his lands quit of service at Lede and elsewhere, claimed by 
charter of Henry III., granting to him, Franco, and his heirs free warren in all his domain 
lands of Lede, Wodchuse, and Farnley. This was to be inquired into with reference to 
usurped privileges. He did service in person at the county service nearest after Michaelmas, 
and at the 'trithing' after that feast. The w T ord 'trithing,' or 'tryering,' is obsolete; it 
meant the sessions wmereat the specious 'special pleader' (whence our phrase of to-day) 
had liberty to say what was— not the truth. The word occurs in one of Alex. Brome's songs, 
who himself was an attorney, and he makes the versed assertion ; — 


I 7 I 

Chiefly by the efforts of the Vicar of Ryther, L,ede Chapel* has lately been 

put into a state of repair. 

For the present, instead of continuing down the vale, let us go by 

field, path, and hedgerow, up the rising ground, north-west to the fine 

elevation on which presides 
the historic hall of the famed 
Vavasours, Vavasor, or Valva- 
sor. The King's Valvasor was 
an office of great honour in 
olden time — a sort of land- 
valet or steward of the vassals. 
The massive hall, with em- 
battled frontage and two 
projecting wings and fine flight 
of steps built of grey lime- 
stone, stands forth in bold 
relief against a dark back- 
ground of wood. 

This ancestral seat of the 
Vavasours represents an un- 
broken tenure, extending even 
beyond the Conquest, but how 
long we cannot say. Such 
evidence as can be obtained 
on the subject goes to show 
that this family sprang from 
one of the Celtic chieftains, 

who, though subjected to Teutonic rule, have never been dispossessed of all 

their lands, and in that position were the hereditary rulers of Tadcaster. 

" And shew'd themselves as erraiit lyars, 
As they were 'prentice to the tryers." 
At the wapentake of Barkeston and Aggebrigg after that feast, he gave 6s. 4d., wapentake 
fine, to be quit of all other services, county, trithing, and wapentake. These Tayases were 
tenants of the De Laci, of whom they had been retainers for more than a century. 

* Two services are held in the church yearly. The reason for this singular custom 
seems to be lost in mists of antiquity. The following is an extract from a Ryther terrier 
dated July 28, 1853 :— " Annexed to the mother church and in the parish is a small chapel 
called Lead or Lede Hall Chapel where Divine Service is performed by custom on the first 
Sunday after the Feasts of St. Mark and St. Luke respectively." The Rector of Ryther 
receives from this chapel, in lieu of tithe, an annual income of £1 18s. Sd., irrespective of 
any obligation or service held in the chapel. 




The prominence of the Vavasours in the early grants of the Percys is a 
circumstance pointing strongly to that fact. The early machinery of the 
government of the district with Nigel, the provost at Huddlestone in the 
first decade of the twelfth century, and with the authority and ownership of 
the Vavasour, extending west to Addingham, is all in accordance with the 
permitted rule of a Tributary chief. Their name, Valvasor, was derived 
from the office and not from the territory. 

The inheritor of Haselwood was a Valvasor, not by blood but by position ; 
doubtless the office was hereditary, but all the same the title continued to 
be that of an 
officer and not of 
an inheritor. It 
was exactly in 
that position 
which the Vava- 
sours of Hasel- 
wood were when 
Percy and De 
L a c i had to 
settle the bounds 
of their respec- 
tive fees, for 
record in the 
Domesday Sur- 
vey. The difficulty which presented itself to them arose from the long- 
permitted rule of the Vavasours. Eventually the territory in the Iselwood 
and the Saxton (the latter name bespeaking its Saxon and stone-quarry origin) 
went to the Percy. The lands adjoining, at Towton, went to the De Laci, 
in the swamps of which extending on both sides of the River Cock the 
native "Leedes," or Leods, the Celtic people of Elmet — the men bound to 
the soil — were left to settle. 

At Lead there is still this further peculiarity — that Lead is a chapelry 
in the parish of Ryther, miles away, while Lotherton, although close to 
Aberford, is in the Parish of Sherburn, whose Parish Church is also four 
miles off. The only possible explanation of these peculiarities lies 
in the old Celtic entrenchments, called, on the east of Aberford, Woodhouse 
Moor Rein, the Wodchuse of the Charter. West of that are Becca Banks 
and the Ridge, the whole having been one of the defences of the British 
Kingdom of Elmet, beyond which Edwin's conquest did not reach. 



At Hazel wood, Ryther, and the swampy ground of the Fen district, the 
local Celtic chieftains have been firmly established. At both places the 
families evidently there at the time of the first records demonstrate well- 
settled possession, and many Celtic names and customs. 

The old name of Haselwood (Iselwood) establishes the u hall " or 
" hael " that always implies local government. At least since the days of 
the Conquest this ancient and noble family have held the lands of Hazelwood, 
except for a short time in the reign of Henry III., when it was in pawn to 
Aaron, a Jew at York, for the sum of ^350. He made a conveyance of his 
security to Queen Eleanor, in discharge of a debt due to her, from whom 
John le Vavasor received it again on payment of the money. 

In its feudal aspect, Hazelwood presents the earliest features of a Seat 
in rank just below the dignity of a baronial Castle. As a stone edifice 
capable of supporting the operations of war as then known, it had an early 
beginning. In 1286, King Edward I. gave leave to castellate the 
mansion, which really means that, by that time, what Mauger had left of the 
old timber hall of his ancestors had become decrepit by wear and time, and, 
action being necessary, stone might be used in the erection of a strong and 
warlike edifice. 

The venerable Gothic chapel, founded in that year, gives an evidence 
of the castellated structure, not externally altered by the present hall, the 
front of which has been remodelled with some incongruity of taste. 
The fatal influence of the times, exhibited in the Jacobean architectural 
alterations inside the chapel, gives some clue to the execution of the present 
front of the hall. 

Sir Thomas Vavasour, the first who dropped the ancestral " le," was 
knight-marshal of the King's household, and created a baronet in 1628 ; 
had he remained a simple knight, the Gothic features of the castellated 
mansion of Sir Robert le Vavasour would have existed to this present day. 
The exterior consists of a centre and two wings ; unfortunately the effect 
is marred by the Jacobean work in the approach to the entrance hall — a 
magnificent room, around which are the shields emblazoned with the family 
arms. From the battlements an expanse of country spreads before the eye, 
the battlefield of Towton appearing in the foreground. 

The hall stands about midway between Stutton and Aberford, on the 
high ground, facing a most beautiful park. From the castle is a fine 
panoramic view of hill and dale, east and north-east the eye roams with 
pleasure across the rich vales of Mowbray and York, through which can be 



seen glimpses of the shining Ouse, passing village, church, hamlet, and the 
stately towers of York. Far away over this fertile vale. eastward stretch the 
outlines of the Wold hills ; northward the heather-clad moors blend their 
contours sweetly with the clouds. Standing in front of the castellated 
mansion, the spectator cannot but be impressed by this imposing palace of 
ancient England. The whole place breathes of mediaeval times, and yet 
not in the same way as the hoary ruin or the dismantled fortress, for it is as 
perfect as when the Vavasour knights led forth their retainers to the battle- 
field, or when the loud blast of the horn peopled the park with a grand 


array of barons and their ladies going forth, hawk on wrist (for falconry 
was the sport of the time), to hunt over the wild moor, or to chase the 
fleet deer through the wide forest. In imagination we hear the trampling 
of horse and jingle of armour ; round the bend in the park appears 
the best of English chivalry, accoutred in their vestments of war or the 
chase; above them floats the symbol of the Crusade, under which they 
fought and won the Holy City from the Infidel. Such are the visions 
which rise up before our eyes as we look on this stately structure. 

The scene changes ! It is night : unbounded hospitality prevails. 
Through the latticed windows we see a numerous throng ; the banquet hall 


is brilliant with the glare of lights in sconces against the walls, resonant with 
the greetings of friends and expressions of merriment ; servitors and retainers 
carry savoury dishes ; on the walls are a vast number of banners and other 
trophies of war ; goblets of wine are quaffed to the health of the noble host 
and hostess. The scene grows brighter as some hero recites his adventures 
in the deathfnl storm of battle, while the harper sings those inspiring and 
romantic ballads of love and war, handed down through unbroken 
generations of a long and distinguished ancestry ! 

Hazel wood seems deserted now ; the mansion is still there, the park, as 
of old, beautiful ; the spacious courtyard and surrounding buildings are 
perfect, yet how lonely and empty the place seems, the body remaining, 
but the spirit departed hence. The life to which it was born and dedicated 
is no longer possible. Hazelwood is a reminiscence ! 

Standing against the walls of the mansion, and under its protective shade, 
is the Gothic Chapel, dedicated to St. Leonard, and built by Sir William le 
Vavasour in the thirteenth century.* For six hundred years, services have 
been held without intermission in this sanctuary, the only place of Roman 
Catholic faith not closed during the reign of Elizabeth; so great, it is said, 
was her esteem for that renowned family. This venerable chapel contains 
many other memorials of its patrons. Along its north wall a group of 
statues represent a Vavasour family of the sixteenth century, all in a good 
state of preservation. On the same wall are two mural recesses containing 

* One very noteworthy feature of the Haselwood Chantry seems to have been missed 
as to its true import. For all local purposes the chapel has served as a parish church. Yet 
while its independence in Purpose has been maintained, its subordination to Tadcaster has 
never been disputed. It is further remarkable that the Vavasours made their private chapel 
at Weston into a parish church also. These facts go far to support the explanation of their 
name in the authority of a Celtic chieftain, with which other facts quite agree. 

The chantry of St. Leonard's, at Haselwood, being a parish church as they say, and 
within the precincts of the parish of Tadcaster. 

John Beverley, Incumbent. 

Founded by the ancestors of Sir William Vavasor, Kt., sans date, to th' extent 
the said incumbent shall minister all sacraments and sacramentals to all the 
inhabitants within the Mansion Place of Haselwood aforesaid, and to bury, wedd, and 
christen within the same chappel, according to the said graunte ; which mansion is 
distant from Tadcaster, which they call the mother church, 2 inyles and above ; and 
the said incumbent haith yerely out of the terme of the mylles of Stourtou, 8s. for all 
gross tythes as the incumbent allodgeth ; and further, the Incumbent haith over and 
beside the 8s., all offerings and other petty tythes, with reuewe within us. 6d. for 
the said Mansion Place, whereby it should seme the same rather to be a parsonage 
than a free chappel or chauntry, and payeth tenthes after the rate of £4 16s. 4d. for 
the said auuitie, tythes, and valet, tenthes deducted £5 8s. 3|d. 



recumbent effigies, one of them probably representing Sir William, the 
founder of the chapel. Both have the appearance of thirteenth- century 
work; their martial figures repose in complete armour, and tell of siege and 
war, and the reward of ' the good fight ' — the peace which passeth under- 
standing. The north end contains a very undesirable mixture of Gothic 
and Jacobean architecture. Besides other tombs there are two painted 
windows, and a beautiful painted altar-piece. 


The religious splendour contained in the chapel may be seen from 
the will of the founder, Sir William Vavasour, who died in 131 1. "To the 
six chaplains celebrating in the 'new chapel' of Haselwood during the 
first year of his decease he leaves thirty marks. To his wife, Nichola 
Waleys, he leaves all his ploughs and their oxen. He also leaves money 
to celebrate masses for the souls of his dead father, John, and mother, Alice. 
He designates the chapel as the new chapel of St. L,eonard of Heselwood." 
His daughter Alice w T as a nun at Sinyngthwayte. Peter le Vavasour, rector 
of Staynton, was a kinsman, perhaps brother. 


The fine array of blue marble tombs of the Vavasours, who have been 
buried here since the foundation of the chapel, is the evidence of their 
succession. The simplest of them, that of the founder, is described by 
Dodsworth. On the floor lies a flat stone with his coat, Vavasour, impaling 
a pegasus rampant within a bordure componed argent and vert, and this 
epitaph : {i Orate pro animabus Gulieluic Vavasour, Militis, et Elizabathe 
consortis ejus," — the pious invocation of so many generations of our fore- 

One and not by any means the only effort of Vavasour chivalry will 
always be remembered by Yorkshiremeu. Sir Thomas le Vavasour, the 
lineal descendant of v Sir William le Vavasour (who so distinguished himself 
in the Scottish wars as to win the praise and high favour of Edward I.), 
made himself honourably conspicuous by raising forces and equipping 
vessels for service against the Spanish Armada, 1588. Queen Elizabeth, 
in reward for his great zeal and energy, and also out of particular regard for 
one of her maids of honour — a Vavasour, and acknowledged by the Queen 
as her kinswoman, would never suffer the chapel or service therein to be 
molested. And so it came to pass that amid all the persecutions directed 
against the Roman Catholics throughout England, the rites of the ancient 
faith were allowed to continue at Hazel wood, and so onward to the present 
time. A striking example which shows there is more true religion in 
toleration than in the dogmas of all the churches. 

1 In connection with donation of stone to York Minster by the Vavasours from their 
quarry in Thevedale, the following is from Drake's History of York. The Robert le Vavasour 
possessed of Hazelwood in the reign of Henrj' III., extending from 1216 to 1272, during 
which interval the south transept was added to the noble structure. '• It appears," sa3*s the 
historian, " by a deed that Robert le Vavasour granted to God, St. Peter, and the Church of 
York, for the health of his own soul, and the souls of his wife Julian and his ancestors, full 
and free use of his quarry at Tadcaster, in Thevedale ; with liberty to take and carry thence 
a sufficient quantity of stone for the fabric of this church so oft as they had need to repair, 
re-edify, or enlarge the same. Robert de Percy, lord of Boulton, made a similar grant of 
his wood at Boulton for roofing the new building. In memory of these two extraordinary 
benefices, the church thought fit to erect two statues ; one represented with a piece of 
rough unhewn stone in his hands ; the other With a similitude of a piece of wrought timber." 
Camden says, "That near Hessel wood, within twelve miles of York, lyeth a most famous 
quarry of stone, called Peter's Post, for that with the stones hewed out of it, by the liberal 
grant of the Vavasours, that stately and sumptuous Church of St. Peter's, at York, was re- 
edify'd ; and some tell us that the property of that stone is such as to be very soft, and 
consequently more easy for the carvers, when newly taken away, which after hardens the 
more the longer it is exposed to the air. A stone as if Nature herself had contrived to 
further on the workmanship." 



The present Sir William, although a Catholic, we understand, holds 
very tolerant views on religious matters. How quiet the pretty little church- 
yard seems, with its tombstones crumbling from time and exposure, still 
beseeching all out of their charity to pray for the souls of those who sleep 
beneath ! 

Many incidents in song and story are related of this ancient family,* 
all redounding to the esteem and honour in which they were held in bygone 
days. The homeless wayfarer and aged labourer, bowed with years of toil, 
tells with pride, how this hospitable family gave refreshment to the poor, as 
to the rich. 

* There was a Justice, but late in the realme of England, callyd Master Vavesour, a 
very homely man and rude of condycions, and lovyd, never to spend mych, niych mouey. 
This Master Vavesour rode ou a tyme in hys cyrceutyee (circuit) in the north e couutrey, 
where he had agreed wyth the sheryf for a certain some of money for hys charges thorowe 
the shyre, so that at ever}- inne and lodgynge this Master Vavasour payed for his own costys. 
It fortuned so, that when he cam to a certayn lodgyng he commanded one Turpyn, hys servant 
to see that he used good husbondry, and to save suche thynges as were left, and to carry it 
wyth hym to serve hym baytynge. Thys Turpyn, doying his mayster's commandment, take 
the broken bred, broken mete, and all such tying that was left, and put it in his mayster's 
cloth sak. The wyf of the hous, perceywing that he toke all such fragmentys and vytayle 
wyth hym that was left, and put it in the clothe sak, she brought up the podage that was 
left in the pot ; and when Turpyn had turned hys bake a lytyl asyde, she pouryd the podage 
into the clothe sak whych ran upon hys robe of skarlet and other of hys garmentys, and 
rayed them very evyll, that they were much hurt therewyth. Thys Turpyn, sodeguly turny- 
ing hym, and seeing it, revyled the wyfe, therfore, and ran to hys mayster, and told hym 
what she had don ; wherfore Master Vavesour incontinest, callyd the wyfe, and said to her 
thus : "Thou drab," quoth he, " what has thou dou ? Why hast thou pourd the podage in 
iny r clothe sak, and marrd my raymeut and gere ? " "O, sir," quoth the wyfe, "I know 
wel ye are a judge of the realme, and I perceyVe by your mind is to do ryght as to have that 
is your owen ; and your mynd is to have all thyng wyth you that ye have pay T d for, both 
broken mete and other thynges that is left, and so it is reson that ye have : and, therefore, 
because your servant hath taken the broken mete and put it in your cloth sake, I have 
therin put the podage that be left, because ye have wel and truly payed for them. Yf I 
shoulde kepe any thynge from you that he hath payed for, per-adventure, ye wold trouble 
me in the law another tyme." Here ye may se, that he that playeth the niygards so 
[mych, som tyme it torneth hym to hys owne losse. — From "The Hundred Mery Talys." 



*T«> ETURNING to Lede by way of Newstead (situated half a mile west 

1 1 \3 of the beck, where also is the old stead and signs of early occupation, 

a unique moated site very indicative of a long history) we now follow 

the beck to the old mill, known as Lead Mill, although standing in the 

parish of Saxton. 

A twelfth-century deed of Robert Patefin, lord of Towton, to Roger 
Berkin and Alice his wife (whose first husband was Roger Paytefin), grants 
them all the town of Towton, yet so that the men of Towton, as they were 
wont to do, should grind at Paytefin's Mill of Saxton, saving to Roger and 
Alice, his wife, the " multure' of their house quit," for all the life of the same 

In the reign of Edward I. Alice de Laci gave to Margaret Kirkton 
(daughter of Alexander de Kirkton, sheriff of Yorkshire), her damsel and a 
great favourite, the bodies and lands (holden in villeinage) of Ralph Brown 
and George Saxton, both of Lede. The grant says : " I, Alice Laci, have 
given to Margaret Kirkton, my mayd servant, my manor of Saxton and five 
score and two acres of arable land in Saxton, wherof twenty acres lie in a 
place called Towton-dale, and two 'placeas' of pasture lying at Mayden- 
castell, and the mill of Lede. Witnesses : Sir William Vavasour, Richard 
Tyas, John Reygate, Gilbert Singleton." 

The mill formerly stood further down the beck near to where the 
bridge crosses the stream, and close by the south shoulder of Mayden Castle 

A breath of antiquity surrounds this old mill. The interior, musty and 
cobwebbed, seems to groan and creak with the labours and cares of number- 


less years. It still retains, dented and crumbled with time, the old multure 
board, although the custom is now obsolete. 

We are now merging on the western fringe of the great battlefield of 
Towton. A mile or so down the beck from Lede, which hitherto, in many 
sweeping curves, has run in an easterly direction, here bends more to the 
north under the dark shadow of Castle Hill and Renshaw Wood, winding 
through a deep, silent vale, sombre and melancholy as if reflecting on the 
tragedy of the past. Here can be seen the solitary heron and other wild fowl, 
a thousand sights in animal and vegetable life arrest our attention, the cry 
and splash of startled water-hens amongst the rushes. In the hedgerow 
bloom the bramble and sweet wild-rose from which now and again flits the 
sportive butterfly. All is strangely quiet in this isolated spot except the 
hum of insects passing to and fro, the gentle flow of the rivulet, murmuring 
over slight obstruction, the song of the lark rising higher and higher, and 
the soft cooing of the ringdove. What a contrast is this quiet spot to the 
noisy hum of our large towns ! Here, a deep and silent vale, through which 
the ever-restless streamlet laves its course, the scene enclosed by woods and 
hills ; above, the glorious sky and fleecy clouds, and the bright sun smiling 
down on the peaceful vale. Yet on this spot a tragedy fateful to England was 
enacted. The dale resounding with the awful clang of arms, the shriek and 
tumult of men in deadly combat. On the plateau above, a most fearful 
battle was fought between Englishmen, which, for the dire struggle, 
carnage, and numbers slain, mark it as one, if not the greatest fight ever 
witnessed on English soil. 

The day before the Battle. 

On the Saturday morning, 28th of March, preceding the battle, the 
Lancastrian army was moving southwards towards Towton. The Yorkists, 
under the personal command of Edward and W T arwick, were encamped at 
Pontefract, from whence Lord Fitz-Walter, with a body of picked troops, 
had been despatched to guard the ford at Ferrybridge, the only available 
crossing place in the district. 

News of this detachment coming to the knowledge of Lord Clifford 
(the bloody Clifford), he, in the early hours of the following morning 
(Saturday), in charge of the men of Craven, fell like a thunderbolt on the 
advanced guard holding the ford. Fitz-Walter, hearing the tumult, leaped 
from his bed, seizing the first available weapon, rushed into the conflict, 
only to be slain with nearly all his men. It was at this juncture of affairs 
when the news of this defeat and capture of the ford by Clifford reached 



Kdward and Warwick. The latter is said to have leaped from his saddle, 
and, stabbing his charger with his sword, said, " Let him flee that will, for 
surely I will tarry with him that will tarry with me ; " then, holding up the 
reeking sword by the blade, he kissed the cross formed by the handle. 

An attempt to dislodge Clifford at the ford being of no avail, a detach- 
ment crossed three miles higher up the Aire, at Castleford, to cut off Clifford 
from the main body of Lancastrians. Perceiving the ruse, he, however, fell 
back towards Towton, but not sharp enough to elude the advanced guard 
of the Yorkists who probably pushed forward by the old Roman way, and 


over Hook Moor, reaching Dintingdale, a small valley running between 
Saxton and the Ferrybridge and York Road, the way by which Clifford 
and his staunch men of Craven were retreating. There, in the little valley, 
a smart skirmish took place ; Clifford and the yeomen of the west fought 
bravely against overpowering numbers; their fate, however, was sealed: 
few escaped to tell the story of disaster. Clifford, we are told, had taken 
off his gorget to relieve pressure, and so was slain, pierced in the throat 
by a headless arrow. 

Late on that Saturday, the whole human machinery of war and 
destruction was in motion, and, in the cold dusk of a March evening, 
settled down almost within sight and hearing of each other, the lurid flame 
of watch fires gleaming in the evening sky. The Yorkists occupied the 
high ridge of land immediately south of Saxton, stretching from Scarthing- 
well towards the Cock at the ' Crooked Billet.' The Lancastrian divisions 



occupied the high land immediately around Towton, having about two 
miles of front, the left wing spreading south-east of Towton, the right 
reaching from Towton half a mile or more west, to where the land falls 
sharply down into the swamp of the Cock at Renshaw Wood, with an out- 
post to guard the right flank at Castle Hill (the site of May den Castle) a 
few hundred yards nearer L,ead Mill. Thus was the disposition of the two 
armies within sight and hearing of each other, on that fatal eve, the prelude 
to the carnage and death of the morrow's fight. 



Battle of Towton Field. 

This battle took place on the morning of Palm Sunday, 1461. The 
Sabbath had only just broken into day, which found the two armies, 
composed of the best and bravest of England's sons, ready for the coming 
fight. As they came in full sight of each other they " rent the air with a 
mighty shout," the challenge and defiance to mortal combat. 

The morning was wild and stormy, the heavens overcast, the fierce 
March wind driving a blinding snowstorm full into the faces of the 
Lancastrians. The Yorkists, quickly taking advantage of the storm, 
advanced and sent many furious showers of arrows from their strong bows 
full into the ranks of the enemy, causing fearful havoc at the first onset. 
The arrows were shot from the rising ground, after which the archers 



retired a few paces into the hollow until the enemy had emptied their 
quivers. The snowstorm blowing into the faces of the Lancastrians, 
prevented them from seeiug this manoeuvre ; in turn, their arrows, flying 
fast and thick against a foe they could not see, fell short of the mark. 
Several times Edward's archers advanced, each time speeding their arrows 
full into the faces of their foemen, causing great confusion.* 

[/'". Dcat 


Nearer and nearer gradually crept the hosts of death. The Lancastrians, 
perceiving their disadvantage, rushed through the blinding hail and storm 
of arrows and smote their foes with sword, pike, battleaxe, and bill ; and 
so, nearly the whole of that Sabbath day the battle raged. The huge mass of 

* During the Middle Ages, the long bow wielded by sturdy English yeomen proved a 
terrible weapon of war. On the battlefield of Crecj' and Poitiers the English archers won 
imperishable fame and renown, speeding their cloth yard shaft with a swiftness and force 
hitherto unknown. 


struggling humanity fought like demons ; many times during this fatal day 
did the fortune of war hang in the balance, sometimes the white rose 
trembling, then the red; "men fought as if the battle was the Gate of Paradise." 
" For ten hours," says one historian, " the conflict raged with uncertain 
result ; " compared by Shakespeare to the tide of a mighty sea, contending 
with a strong opposing wind. 

The tide of battle at last set against the House of Lancaster by the 
arrival of five thousand fresh Yorkist troops. No quarter had been given 
at the battle of Wakefield, where the black-faced Clifford, in cold blood, 
slew the innocent Rutland ; now at Towton Edward commanded that no 
quarter should be given, and only too well were his orders carried out, for 
at eventide, upwards of thirty-six thousand of the bravest and noblest of 
England's sons lay dead or dying on the ghastly field. 

The wreck of the vanquished army fled north-west ; across their path 
ran the little River Cock, into whose waters many fell, never to rise again. 
Dire was the confusion at the bridge, which was choked by a mass of 
struggling humanity, and which at length gave way beneath the pressure. 
Over a bridge of bodies fled the remnant of the Lancastrians. Not only at 
this spot, but for the space of two miles or more, the valley of the Cock 
became a veritable death-trap to the vanquished. Down the valley ran the 
blood of the slain, changing the waters of the rivulet and the Wharfe to 
crimson ; even the brown waters of the Ouse, it is said, became tinged 
with human blood. 

A stranger passing over this ground would see nothing to indicate that 
on this spot was fought the most fierce and deadly battle of ancient. or 
modern times. A few mounds and depressions mark the place where many 
of the bravest of our land lie in their last sleep. It is said the titled slain 
are interred in the churchyards of the surrounding district, but with, I 
believe, a few exceptions, history is silent. No monument marks the 
site of battle, yet there is one beautiful memorial on the field which the 
villagers tell us cannot be effaced — above where the warrior sleeps, white 
and red roses bloom, emblems of the fatal feud. How they came thus is not 
known, but they do not grow well on other soil than that on which was 
poured out old England's noblest blood. 

" Ob, the red and white rose, upon Towton Moor it grows, 
And red and white it blows upon that swarthe for evermore, 
In memorial of the slaughter, when the red blood ran like water, 
And the victors gave no quarter in the flight from Towton Moor. 


" Wheu the bauuers gay were beaming, aud the steel cuirasses gleaming, 
And the martial music streaming o'er the wide and lonely heath ; 
And many a heart was beating that dreamed not of retreating, 
Which, ere the sun was setting, lay still and cold in death. 

" When the snow that fell at morning lay as a type and warning, 
All stained and streaked with crimson, like the roses white and red, 
And filled each thirsty furrow with its token of the sorrow 
That wailed for many a morrow through the mansions of the dead. 

•'Now for twice two hundred years, when the month of March appears, 
All unchecked by plough or shears spring the roses red and white ; 
Nor can the hand of mortal close the subterranean portal 
That gives to life immortal these emblems of the fight. 

" And as if they were enchanted, not a flower may be transplanted 
From those fatal precincts, haunted by the spirits of the slain ; 
For howe'er the root you cherish, it shall fade away and perish, 
When removed beyond the marish of Tovvton's gory plain." 

I have somewhere heard it remarked that on one occasion the Iron 
Duke was asked, by an expert in war, what calculation he made at Waterloo 
for a retreat, in case of defeat; his answer was, "None!" Be that as it 
may, it was thus with the leaders of the Lancastrians at Towton heath, other- 
wise the carnage of that day would not have been nearly so appalling. Their 
position for fighting, on the high plateau, was even more advantageous than 
that of the Yorkists ; but for the retreat of a large army in confusion, 
nothing could be more dangerous and deadly : it proved a veritable death- 

Immediately to the rear of their position and extending from the site 
of Mayden Castle, hard by I v ead corn mill, to the outlying lands of Grimston 
(a distance of two miles or more), the ground drops abruptly down to the 
treacherous, oozy fen-banks of the River Cock, which, if insignificant, 
were not the less deadly, the latter not more than from seven to twelve feet 
across, easy enough for an agile man to jump, yet too wide for the vanquished 
to leap, laden with their armour and wearied with the exertion and turmoil 
of the day's fight. And even to this day the ground on either bank (in 
most places), for a hundred yards or more, is a dangerous morass, yet ten- 
fold worse four hundred and fifty years ago, as at that period the length of the 
valley from L,ead Mill to Stutton, or even lower, to where the beck joins the 
Wharfe, was one continuous mire and swamp, impossible to cross without 
becoming engulfed. The old Norman bridge which stood at the north-west 
corner of Rensliaw Wood was, at that period, the only available crossing- 



We make this statement so that the reader can understand the death- 
trap awaiting the Lancastrians if the battle proved disastrons to their 
cause. The reader must also remember that the present good road from 
Towton to Tadcaster was not in existence until three centuries later. The 
old Norman track turned sharply to the left at Towton town end, passed 
down the precipitous slope on the north side of Renshaw Wood to Cock 
Bridge, climbed the opposite ridge, and thence along the west side of Stutton 
into Tadcaster ; such was the ground the beaten army had to retreat by, 
exhausted. When broken all along the line, they turned and fled down 
the slippery bank into that sullen water-way of ignoble death : as we have 
already observed, it was a day of storm.* 


With deep pathos, one old writer tells that " All the while it snevv;' 
presenting a conflicting element to fierce passions, burning in the hearts of the 
victors, to kill, without mercy or distinction, every fugitive in their path. 
The awful carnage which took place in the valley on this day will never be 
forgotten. The numbers who fell here, on the side of the Lancastrians, 
were, perhaps, equal to those who fell on the field of battle, with their faces 
to the foe. 

* " So many of them fell into the Cock, as quite filled it up, and the Yorkists went 
over their backs in pursuit of their brethren . . . over thirty-six thousand Englishmen here 
fell a sacrifice for their fathers' transgressions ; and the wounds of which they died, being 
made by arrows, battleaxes, pike, and sword, would bleed profusely." 


" Men alune pass'o the ruyer upon bcabe carcasses, an6 tfjal Uje 
tfreafe rguer of ^harfe, tt>c create seroer of all tf)e water comma, 
from Bonbon, luas coloured nnth Moob." 

We need feel no surprise concerning the scarcity of relics connected 
with this battle (found in late years), considering the lapse of time and the 
nature of the ground on which the main issue of the battle was contested. 
It was March, the vegetation of the past year on the moor had assimilated 
with the earth, to make way for the return of spring. Thus the land would 
be nearly bare of undergrowth, and, doubtless, the greater part of the 
weapons would be easily found and removed by the victors, and the inhabi- 
tants of the villages around, following in their wake, gleaned up most of 
the remainder, which, during the course of centuries, if not even used 
again, would be dispersed hither and thither to different parts of the empire ; 
apart from which, antiquaries have been continually calling on the farm 
men and cotters, and purchasing for a trifle any relic of the battle worth 
removing. To-day, few weapons, we should say, remain hidden in the soil 
of the actual battlefield. Middle-aged and elderly men will speak of finding 
the barbed end of a rusty arrow, the head of axe and pike, or handle of a 
broken sword, etc. ; and one John Hargreaves relates that he has, on differ- 
ent occasions, found barbed arrows in a field known locally as " Nor Acres " 
(now historic), but the farm men always hark back to the days of their fathers, 
or even grandfathers, when reporting to us the more important finds. 

It may seem strange, yet there is not a single stone or monument (with 
the exception of Lord Dacre's, in Saxton churchyard), to mark the places 
where the vast army of dead warriors (thirty-eight thousand) lay in their 
last long sleep.* 

Leland records that " Five pittes yet appearing half a mile by north 
Saxton fields." The same antiquary also records that a Mr. Hungate, of 
Saxton, collected a great number of bones, and caused them to be buried 
in Saxton churchyard ; and here the late sexton related to the writer that 
all along the north side of the church, from Lord Dacre's tomb to the tower, 
was a vast receptacle of bones of the slain, brought hither from the field of 

* In the hedgerow, about four paces from the highway leading from Saxton to Towton, 
and a little east of the quarries, there is to be seen a stone cross, which may have been 
placed to mark the site of a grave, or the spot where a noble fell. It is known as Lord Dacre's 
Cross, aud possibly it is a relic of the Chapel at Towton, which Richard III. began to 
build, but which was never finished, and has now totally disappeared. 



Ill the ings, between the site of May-den (May-dene) Castle and Lead 
Mill, are three mounds, having the appearance of tumuli, two of which 
have evidently been disturbed, and we were told a broken sword was 
found just below the 
surface of one. On the op- 
posite side of the vale from 
the north-west corner of 
Renshaw Wood, is a long 
mound, bearing the impres- 
sion of a huge grave. In 
the field where tradition 
avers still grow the red and 
white roses, several graves 
w r ere formerly to be dis- 
tinctly traced ; now, faintly. 
Another huge tumulus, 
thirty-two yards in length by 
nineteen in width, was for- 
merly to be seen in the field 
still known as the " graves." 

The peculiar variety of 
wild white rose, tinged (not 
streaked) with red, formerly 
plentiful on the battlefield, 
has been cut and uprooted 
until now it is very scarce. 
There was formerly a large 
bed in the field known as 
Towtondale, or bloody vale ; 
here a farmer told the 
writer that he netted the bed of some thirty yards square, and made it into 
a sheepfold, which was the means of destroying the plants. The country 
people attribute the rich red tinge of the roses to the soil being im- 
pregnated with blood at that fatal fight. Botanically speaking, Dr. Arnold 
Lees informs me this cannot be the case. The ' field/ being glacial drift 
over limestone, is rich in species of wild flowers, four different kinds of roses 
growing there. The white York rose, a spiny neat-leaved plant, is always 
creamy-hued. The common dog-rose, the Lancastrian, is a blush pink, 
more or less deep. The field rose is also white, not very prickly, and easily 

[E. Boz k 

I ( ORD dacrk's tomb, saxton churchyard. 


destroyed; it has been found with the petals streaked with pink — probably 
from hybridization — but very rarely. Blood in soil could not cause it until 
the iron in it had been oxidized. The primrose, however, has been changed 
into the mauve and red polyanth of the garden by an ironized and blood 
manure. Iron in solution is a poison to most plants, but in minute quantity, 
like " pink pills for pale people," it will deepen the colour of tissues. The 
soil on Towton is, doubtless, very complex, and wild flowers nourish 
wonderfully hereabouts. 

"There still wild roses growing, 
Frail tokens of the fray, 
And the hedgerow green bears witness 
Of Towton field that day." 

Far and wide, across highland and lowland, in mud-built cabin or 
baronial hall, in simple chapel or stately minster, lowly village or thriving 
city, were to be heard the wailing of sorrow, the continual pealing of muffled 
bells, and the long, weary vigils of the bereaved widow and the fatherless, 
the mournful sound of the requiem sung for the repose of the souls of the 

Litanies for the departed, sobbing sounds in broken accents, filled the 
sacred fane ! Priests were hired with land and treasure for unceasing inter- 
cessory prayer ; candles on the altars burn, and clouds of incense veil the 
Holy Pix, as the sobbing prayers rise from hearts torn with anguish, for the 
brave hearts that late beat in youthful breast and hoary sire. " Out of the 
depth of our grief we cry unto Thee ! from the morning watch even until 
night ! Miserere nostri Domine. May they rest in peace." 

From the name of the great battle Towton is known the wide world 
over. The place is not mentioned in the Domesday Book. 

On the parcelling out of land by the Norman, Towton fell into the 
family of the Pictavenses, or Paytefins, lords of Headingley, who were after- 
wards great patrons to the monks of Kirkstall. Early in the thirteenth 
century it came into the possession of Robert Berkin and Alice, his wife ; 
to the latter, as reasonable dower from her former husband, one Robert 
Paytefin. Late in the thirteenth century the manor passed into the pos- 
session of the Stophams, of Weston. 

In 1310, Sir William Stopham was ordered to muster his followers at 
Berwick-on-Tweed for service against the Scots, and in 13 16, besides his 
other possessions, this knight was certified as Lord of the township of 



Baildon. His daughter and heiress married Sir John Vavasour, and the 
name of Stopham ended. A further account of this family will be found in 
Vol. II. of this work. Towton thence passed to the powerful family of 
Roos or Ros, and from them to the knightly family of Melton of Aston, 
representatives of Archbishop Melton. The last of the Meltons who held 


[E. Bogs. 

Towton was John, who died in 1544, when George D'Arcy and the Lady 
Dorothy, his wife, daughter and heiress of John Melton, obtained possession. 
For his bravery at the siege of Tournay, George received the distinctive 
mark of knighthood, and after the delinquency of Thomas, Lord D'Arcy, 
his father, was restored in blood with the dignity of Baron D'Arcy to 
himself and his heirs male. 

Towton is on the eastern fringe of the Elmet district ; it stands on the 
edge of the high ridge of land, from whence the ground shelves rapidly down 
into the fenland of the Vale of York. 

The village consists of one single street, through which runs the 
London and Edinburgh highway; there is not anything of more than 
passing interest, the scenery around is finely diversified, and far-reaching 
views to the east can be obtained. In a field behind the hall is a site known 


I 9 I 

as Chapel Garth ; nothing remains, but the foundations of a chapel have 

from time to time 

^^j^^S^S^^^KSBtSKS^B^SiS^^I^^. been found. On 
X'mLlMM^^^Miim mB^^SS^BnaSl^^ < l part of the field 

u most remote 
from Saxton," a 
great chapel was 
intended to have 
been built by 
Richard III., "in 
token of praier, 
and for the souls 
of the men slain 
at Palme Sunday 
Field." Stowe 
says that "To wton 
village is a mile 
from Saxt o 11, a great 
chapelle was 

begun by Richard III., but not finished, in which chapelle were buried 
also many of the men slain at Palm Sunday Fielde." 

Nearly a mile south-west of the battlefield, in a gentle hollow, through 
which flows a wimpliug stream, rests the village of Saxton, which, like 
To wton, is part of the honour of Pontefract. Saxton was granted by Alice 
de Laci to her handmaiden, Margaret de Kirkton. When Henry de Laci, 
Alice's son and Earl of Lincoln, was lord of the honour, Saxton was in the 
possession of Sir Roger de Saxton, who founded a chapel there in 1292, 
dedicated to St. Mary* 

The parish church is dedicated to All Saints', and in the reign of 
Edward III. belonged to the hospital of St. Leonard of York. The chancel 
arch is late Norman ; there are also two ancient windows. On the walls 
and floor of the chancel are many memorials to the Hungate family, of 
whom one, William Hungate, founded the grammar school at Sherburn, 
and did many other benevolent things ; the last one reads : — 
" Interred the Body of Sir Charges Hungate, 


The Last Mai,e Heir 
of that Antient Family, Nov. 6th, 1749, 
Aged 63." 



At the latter end of the fifteenth century the estates of the ancient 
family of St. Ley, or generally Sallay, fell into the hands of William Hun gate, 
through his marriage with Olive, daughter of William Sallay, the last male 
representative of a house which had been settled at Saxton for several 

William Hungatc was the son of William H ungate, of Borneby ; his 
marriage is likely to have occurred not long after the battle of Towton, for 
Leland tells that it was he who gathered together the bodies of the slain 
and caused them to be buried in Saxton churchyard. William Hungate 
died about the accession of Henry VIII., in the first year of whose reign, 
William Hungate, the son, paid relief for his lands and succeeded thereto. 
This second William married Alice, daughter of Sir Thomas Gower, of 
Stitenham, illustrious as of the family of the eminent poet, " the morall 
Gower," to whom Chaucer dedicated his " Troilus and Cressida." From this 
period the family of the Hungates rose in reputation and wealth, allying 
itself with its neighbours, the Vavasours of Hazelwood, of the first rank of 
the feudal nobility. William Hungate seems to have passed an uneventful 
life. By his will, dated June 26th, 1547, proved April 19th, 1548, he orders his 
body to be buried in Saxton church. He was succeeded by his son William 
Hungate, who married Andria, daughter of John Saltmarshe, Esq., of Salt- 
marshe. The line of the Hungates terminated in 17 10 by the death of Sir 
Francis Hungate, Bart., who is buried at Saxton. 

Some twenty-six years ago Saxton Church was restored, when many 
memorials were destroyed or lost. Under the pulpit are the tombs of the 
Hammonds and Widdringtons, date 1671 — one requests, " Gentill reeders 
and hearers hereof of y e charatie pray ffor y e soule of Anthony Hamond, 
Esquier, who departed oute of this missarable worlde y e ii° of August, in 
y e yere of our L,orde God, MCCCCCLXIII, and lieth buride under this 
stone, whose soule it may please God to p'don." 

Teresa Sempson, who died about forty years ago, at a great age, was 
the last female who did penance in this church ; with a white sheet thrown 
over her shoulders, she silently walked the aisle during part of the service, 
as a punishment for her misdeeds. Near to the porch is a stone with the 
following quaint inscription : — 

Here lyeth the body of Richard 

Fletcher, who departed this life 

ye 8th of April, 1739, aged 63 yrs., 

Who left the use of ten pou d to ye widows of Saxton. 



On the north side, in the God's-acre, is the tomb to the memory of Iyord 
Dacre, who fell on the adjoining battlefield.* Along the whole length of the 
north side, some few feet below the surface, are immense quantities of bones, 
supposed to be part of the slain from the battlefield. The late sexton told 
the writer that he had seen them when digging some years ago, several feet 
in thickness. It is now understood that this part of the burial ground 
remains undisturbed. 

In the meadows east of the church are distinct traces of an encampment, 
near to which, in the midst of a fine park, stood the mansion of the Sallays, 
and later of the Hungates, surrounded by many large trees. Their crest is 


still to be seen over the front of the manor-house. In the adjoining field, 
west of this house, and near to the village street, is an eminence, enclosed by a 
double trench ; whether raised by Saxon, Dane, or Norman we know not ; 
but we should imagine, from the many signs left on the surface of the earth, 
that a great struggle took place on this spot centuries before the fatal fight 

* Local tradition says that Lord Dacre and his charger were interred in one grave, 
which may account for the skull of a horse being found when the tomb was restored, a few 
years ago. Lord Dacre's skeleton was found in an upright position. 



on Towton heath. Saxton, apart from its association with the great 
battlefield, around which memory mournfully lingers, is a pleasant and 
rural village, where many signs of the ' Merrie England ' of old remain. 

During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the Hungates were 
nearly always involved in continual trouble and in lawsuits with their neigh- 
bours. The line of this ancient family ended in the death of Sir Charles 
Hungate, 1749, and by the marriage of Mary, daughter of Sir Francis 
Hungate, to Sir Edward Gascoigne, the estates of the Hungates came into 
the hands of the Gascoignes. There appears to have been another branch 
of the Hungates, between whom and the Gascoignes a trial took place in 
1833. The Register Book at Saxton says : — 

"In chancer}-, 19th April, 1833, between William Hungate, otherwise Wm. Anning 
Hungate, complainant, and Richard Oliver Gascoigne, Thomas Oliver Gascoigne, and 
Richard Oliver Gascoigne the younger, defendants. At the execution of a commission 
for the examination of witnesses in the cause, this book was produced and shewn to the 
Rev. John Carter, a witness sworn and examined, and by him deposed unto at the time of 
his examination on behalf of the defendants. Signed, Thomas W. Totty, G. S. Rowles, 
Robert Spencer, R. Bailley." 

This William Anning Hungate was a lieutenant in the Royal Navy, and 
in great favour with William IV. ; for him, however, the trial was of little 
avail : the Gascoignes still possess the estate. Many years ago the late sexton 
(with almost melancholy sadness) told the writer of the visits made by this 
branch of the Hungates to Saxton, telling how, in his younger days, both 
he and his father visited the church in the company of this Hungate 
claimant, and how reverently the latter examined the tombs and registers 
of his family, and also inquired about certain relics that were then 
missing, etc., requesting them, if possible, to restore the same, as the 
Hungates would be returning to claim their lost heritage. A dream of his 
never to be realized ! possession is nine points of the law. 

The Hungates were staunch Roman Catholics, and many of their kin 
appear in the list of Recusants compiled in 1604. Among the latter is the 
following account of a secret marriage : 

" Richard Chomley, Esquier, maryed with Mary Hungate (a daughter of William 
Hungate, of Saxton), in the presence of John Wilson, William Martin, Huge Hope, and 
Christopher Dauyell, in a 'fell' with a Popish priest." 

A ' fell ' is not only a mountain side, but, in archaic early English language, 
meant any uninclosed place in the open air, secluded, but without many trees. 
The record of this marriage is most interesting. The lovers dare not 
marry in the hall of the Hungates at Saxton, for fear of spies, so an arrange- 
ment with a priest and witnesses is made to meet at some solitary and 



secluded spot, where the marriage ceremony is performed and the wedding 
party scatter and return home without discovery. Such scenes would be 
common during the period of Roman Catholic persecution in England, 
showing the oppression and bigotry the Catholics of this age were the 
subjects of. 

Anent the adjoining battlefield, there are many side-lights and 
touches of oral tradition, handed down from sire to son. It is told how 

[F. Dean. 


Lord Clifford, nicknamed u the butcher," was slain by a headless arrow in 
Dintingdale, some few hundred yards east of Saxton Church, and the spot 
where the " bur-tree-bush" stood in " Nor acres," from whence the lad shot 
Lord Dacre, can still be pointed out. This is about the centre of the battle- 
field, where the brunt of the fighting took place : how the boy could hide 


in the midst of sixty thousand men in the fierce struggle of war is more 
than we can understand. One hears, too, of a vast white sheet of snow that 
fell unceasingly all through that fatal day, and how both morn and even- 
song were over at Saxton Church before the worshippers were aware that 
the fight had taken place — 

" Palm Sunday chimes were chiming 

All gladsome through the air, 
And village churls and maidens 

Knelt in the church at prayer." 

An utter impossibility — the noisy fiend of war would only be too palpable 
to the terror-stricken villagers, all through Saturday night and Sunday, to 
even admit of any service being held. 

Dintingdale, east of Saxton, down which a little brook meanders to- 
wards Scarthingdale, is interesting from the skirmish which took place in 
it on the eve of the battle. From hence, by fieldpath and hedgerow, 
pranked with wild flowers, we pass to Sherburn, — its church showing out 
prominently in the landscape before us. In our way there is much to 
interest. From the moor, now enclosed, we drop into a deep valley, 
which in olden time cut off access to Saxton from Sherburn, and thence 
following the footpath over the green pastures, we climb up the steep 
ascent to the church. 


Round about Sherburn-in-Elmet, 

*"|^V AMED from the shire-burn, was the capital of the eastern frontier 
«-■—£ of the kingdom of Elmet : a division, the edge or boundary of a 
kingdom, the eastern limit of Elmet Setna, the last fringe of in- 
habitable land on this side. The region beyond, to the north and east, was 
interminable marsh, forest, and l fell ' — a wilderness, wild and desolate, the 
silence broken only by the howl of wild beasts, and the cry and flight of 
innumerable birds, among which were the long-lost bustard and thick-knee 
plover, on the drier land, and the ' hollow-sounding butter bump,' or bittern, 
among the reed beds. 

Sherburn, doubtless, registers a Christianity dating back to Celtic time. 
Here was a church previous to Athelstan's reign, and a list of the " Utensilia," 
date about 900, still extant, mentions a peal of six bells and four hanging 
bells. Nearly every vestige of this church has disappeared, and so has King 
Athelstan's palace, later the Archbishop's. The site, however, is to be seen 
on the north slope of the hill, with part of the moat which enclosed it on 
the west and north. 

In celebration of the. victory at Brunanburgh, Athelstau presented the 
house to the see of York, as a thank-offering to the Almighty for his great 
victory; and as a palace of the Archbishop's it remained for over three 
hundred years. The Archbishop held his court at Sherburn, and the 
knights of the barony did their service until about the middle of the four- 
teenth century, when Cawood, having become more suitable for a residence 
of the Archbishop, the palace at Sherburn was dismantled and the material 

After the disaster to the English, at Myton, the Scots raided Wharfe- 
dale, causing fearful havoc and loss to the inhabitants. Amongst other 


places they destroyed were the manors of Ripon, Otley, and Sherburn. 
During this shameful state of things, when the government of the kingdom 
suddenly fell into a strange state of impotency, a few daring spirits relieved 
this monotony of wretchedness : Robert de Ryther and John de Vavasour 
were distinguished for their great zeal and activity. It was one of the 
Vavasours, with the assistance of Henry de Scargill and others, in 1322, 
harried Parlington — " turned out the king's favourite, Hugh le Despencer, 
le pere, and pulled his house down about his ears." Soon after the disaster 
at Myton, the Archbishop, in a letter dated at Cawood, writes to the rural 
Dean of Sherburn that, whereas many of his tenants had been slain in 
the battle, the Dean was to take care and have their effects properly 
administered to. 

Since those stirring scenes enacted during the Civil Wars, Sherburn 
has settled down into a quiet, regular state of existence. Once the capital of 
the surrounding district, it takes a pride in the evidences of its vanished 
importance, former homes of kings and princes still remaining within its 
bounds to testify to its passed greatness. 

The town is a most interesting study. In the grandeur and massive 
proportions of the Norman Church, and the emblazoned scroll, telling of 
knightly fame and glory, decorating its west window, the historian and 
antiquary can each find inspiration and delight ; and the diversity of its 
landscape views, the sweetness of its orchards, hedgerows, and pasture land, 
the rusticity of its winding lanes, the charming outlook over the Fenland, 
stretching from its doors to the Wolds, are so combined as to give those 
in quest of health and pleasure ample reward for their visit. The towers 
and spires of minster, abbey, and church appearing in the middle distance, 
with the smiling cornfields and meadows we now gaze over, is the reward of 
many centuries of toil by the descendants of the Angle and wild Norseman, 
who steered their galleys up the tawny waters of the Ouse and its tributaries, 
and made their settlements on the banks thereof. ' A History of England ' 
in little, the Sherburn domain happily epitomizes. 

As a structure, the church of All Saints, in which the works of at least 
eight bygone centuries survive, is a type of superior dignity and im- 
perishable endurance. Within its now existing walls the voice of Aldred, 
the last Archbishop of the Saxon race, and also the first Archbishop of the 
Norman regime, has resounded, and we need not doubt that the men 
who looked the haughty Norman in the face as the battle raged at 


I 99 

Senlac (when the noble patrimony was wrested by William from the ill-fated 
Harold) knelt in prayer for the success of their king and the safety of their 
wives and little ones on the same spot as the wives and little ones kneel 
in prayer to-day. Here, within the old church at Sherburn, has been 
witnessed the consummation of the highest ambition of chivalric enterprise, 
and all the pomp and circumstance attending the great victory of Athelstan 
at Brunanburgh. Here, during the prosecution of the Papists, lights, we 


are told, were oft seen burning on the high altar, during the silence and 
solitude of night. Hither came the Hungates and others to worship in 
secret ; how they obtained admission was beyond the knowledge of human 
ken, yet tradition mysteriously whispered of certain underground passages 
which led from their halls hither. 

Within the precincts of this sacred edifice, in the year 132 1, a most 
memorable incident in English history took place; foregone events demanded 
the private conclave, the outcome of troublous times and the misgovernment 



of Edward II. Weak and vacillating, the very antithesis of his father, whose 
advice and memory he so dis- 
regarded by recalling Piers 
Gaveston and making a prime 
favourite of him whom the 
great king had exiled, and who, 
just previous to his death, had 
exacted from his son a solemn 
oath that he should never be 
allowed to set foot in England 
again. Neither before nor since 
that convocation of churchmen 
and barons on that momentous 
midsummer Sunday, have the 
streets of Sherburn resounded 
to such a tramp as was heard 
in the old ville on that day. 
The Archbishop, the Bishops 
of Durham and Carlisle, and 
the Abbots from near and far, 
the Earls of Lancaster and 
Hereford, many Barons, 
Baronets, and Knights, with 

their attendants, assembled in the church of Sherburn-in-Elmet. To this 
assembly Sir John de Bek, a belted knight, read out the Articles Lancaster 
and his adherents intended to insist upon. The first one struck especially 
at the evil counsels of the less worthy ministers of the king, the Chancellor, 
the Justicier (who ought to be constituted by election), the misrule of the 
king's favourites, the younger and elder Hugh le Despenser, " who are the 
main causes of the new evils and oppressions by which the people are 
excessively aggravated." 

Thus we see the meeting was one advocating the most radical reform ; 
its bold and trenchant demands, however, took the prelates by surprise, 
they could not answer instantly and requested a short adjournment. This 
being agreed to, copies of the Articles were supplied and they retired "to 
the manse of the rector " (probably the old palace). The result of their 
deliberations was futile, as after events testified, still the convocation was 
a starting point in history, its Principle more popular government and 
Justice to the people, which only came to pass in after generations. 



What an impressive scene this great gathering of churchmen (men of 
peace) and mailed warriors must have been ! But there was treason in the 
camp. The headsman's axe soon became busy. Fearful tragedies, now in 
Time's dim distance, flit before our mental view. The shadowy figures 
of Lancaster, Harcla, and other great men, headless, are seen passing from 
the block. Never since the Conquest had the scaffold been deluged with 

such torrents of 
noble English 
blood. Ever so 
in working out 
the charter and 
freedom of a 
great nation 
such things 
must be wit- 

The church 
at Sherburn is 
capable of 
teaching this 
most powerful 
lesson ; while 
time after time 
the old order 
has given place 
to the new, this 
church has re- 
mained true to 
its purpose, and 
is capable of re- 
maining so for 
centuries to 
come. It has 
u ndergone 
many alter- 
ations and re- 
pairs, and was 
restored in 
1857, but not with that judicious reverence and care for the work of past 

[C. F. Jones. 



masters the architect ought to have taken, which is much to be deplored, 
especially in the restoration of the chancel. Previous to the Reformation 
this church must have been architecturally a priceless work of art. An 
undying care for the fabric of their churches was ever the virtue of the 
great body of the Romish priesthood. Would that we could say the same 
of their successors when the grand old parish churches came under their 

The church consisted of nave, notable for massiveness and grand sim- 
plicity, two aisles, formerly with chapels at the end of each, chancel, tower, 
porch, and a mortuary chapel. Whittaker attributes part of the structure 
to Saxon work. The tower, arches, and inner walling may be of that era, 
the arcading of the nave, from the height of the pillars and narrow arches, 
gives it somewhat this character, and seems to warrant this conclusion. 
The carved capitals and enriched arch mouldings are fine examples of early 
Norman work. The clerestory windows, of three lights, are late perpen- 
dicular, as well as the outer casing of the tower, with the large buttresses 
required for its support. The arch of the porch was originally transitional, 
with chevron moulding and shafts, now much altered by rebuilding. The 
west or tower window, with many fragments of rare old glass, is specially 
interesting to one versed in heraldry. The south aisle contains a rare 
Janus cross, which has rather a curious history. It was found in the ruins 
of a small chapel, at the south-east corner of the churchyard. This chapel 
was dedicated to the "Honour of St. Mary and the Holy Angels," and is said 
by Wheater to have been a sumptuously furnished shrine. 

Less than a century ago, one of the churchwardens, a boor, with little 
veneration for the past, thought it would adorn the walls of his resi- 
dence, but this robber of relics was not allowed by the parishioners to 
remove it without a protest beyond words. The feud was finally com- 
promised by some wise Solomon of the rival parties. The cross was sawn 
vertically into two parts and one side awarded to each. After this wanton 
act of vandalism half the cross was removed to Steeton Hall, where it long 
adorned a niche over a doorway there. The writer has in his pos- 
session a photograph taken by G. Fowler Jones, showing half of the trophy 
in that position. Happily the cross has been restored to its original state, 
and is to be seen in the south aisle of the church and is possibly now the 
only relic left of the Chapel of St. Mary and the Holy Angels. The date 
of the cross is late fourteenth century or early fifteenth. 



The town of Sherburn contains many antique and interesting features 
of bygone times. In the main street is the old courthouse, and the Grammar 

School, built by Robert 
Hungate, 1656. From 
nearly any point the 
massive church tower, 
uprearing high above 
the roofs, from its pro- 
minent position, with 
the red and white roofed 
houses and varied 
patches of colour inter- 
vening, forms a picture 
of more than ordinary 

The villages and 
hamlets surrounding 
Sherburn are nearly all 
of importance in local 
history of old. The 
heads of these families 
played conspicuous 
parts in the Court world 
of their time as the ruins 
and relics of their manor- 
houses still testify, and 
striking and very varied 
phases of life and vicissi- 
tudes of fortune do these 
manor - houses expose. 
Many a story, more 
startling than romance, might be told anent the old houses, once the resting- 
place of kings, and the former home of minstrelsy and chivalry ; their 
names and deeds are emblazoned on the scroll of history. 

* There were several skirmishes hereabouts, during the Civil War, and history says 
Lord Digby was surprised and defeated in the war between the King and Parliament, at 
Sherburn ; but the place where his coach was captured, and where the slain in the action 
were interred, is pointed out by tradition at Mil ford, about a mile distant from the Parish 

[C F. Jones. 




We will commence with the manor of Huddleston— old-time Hudereston, 
or Huderston. It is in the parish of Sherbnrn, and about one. and a half 
miles south-west from that place, and stands in a most secluded valley. Here, 
at the Domesday survey, dwelt one Hunchel or Huddor, a Saxon, from 
whence it has been said the place received its name ; but ' hudr' or ' huddel ' 
in old English meant a heap — an abundant accumulation of anything ; and 
it is quite as likely that the place-name (like that of others about), and the 
Domesday dweller there, alike derived their cognomens from the fact of 
stone being so plentiful, and in early days so easily got at, and of such 
quality, that the quarries once opened have been delved into fame, as 
the source of many an imposing tower and pile throughout the county 
of broadacres, and farther afield as well. In the wood adjoining, called 
Huddleston Old 
Wood, are the re- 
mains of a double 
trench, and on the 

moor, in the 
direction of New- 
thorpe, are traces 
of similar en- 
evidently salient 
points in the vast 
system of en- 
beginning at Bar- 
wick, and stretch- 
ing hither, more 
or less, a distance 
of eight miles, 
guarding, in pre- 
Norman times 
the only approach 
north between the 
Ouse and the Aire 


The Hunchils are supposed to have been settled here generations 
previous to the Conquest, but they fled before the scourge and devastation of 
the Conqueror, returning to their old home some time after and becoming 



tenants of theDeLaci. This family evidently soon rose into position and dignity. 
Abouttheyear 1 1 10, one Nigel de Hnddleston presented lands to the monastery 
of Selby, and, being weary of the sinful ways of the wicked world, entered 
that establishment as a monk. Again, in 1296, one Sir Richard de Hnddle- 
ston, by license 
from Dean Sewal de 
Bovill, had leave to 
attach a chapel to 
his manor-house, 
" To hear divine 
service, this year in 
my chapel, kept in 
my court of Hodel- 
ston, yet so that on 
chief feast days I am 
to repair to the 
mother church of 
Sherburn." Rich- 
ard, the last of the 
male line to dwell 
at the hall, died here 
early in the four- 
teenth century; the 
estate then went by 
marriage to John de 
Melsa. A Sir John 
Hnddleston, how- 
ever, established the 
old name in Cum- 
berland, where it 
lasted until 1774, 
when his estate 
passed by marriage 
of Elizabeth, his 
heiress, to Sir Hed- 
worth Williams, 
who, in turn, sold 
it to the L,owthers. 



This family appear to have been ever brave soldiers on the battlefield; 
a Sir Richard Huddleston was made a knight banneret at the hands of Henry 
V., on the field of Agincourt ; Johan de Odelstone was with Edward I. at 
the siege of Caerlaverock. One Ferdinand was a staunch cavalier, who took 
to wife Jane (daughter of Sir Ralph Grey of Chillingham), who bore him 
nine sons, all of whom became officers, and fought in the cause of King 
Charles. William, the eldest, was made a knight banneret by Charles for 
his gallant effort in recapturing the royal standard at the battle of Kdge- 
hill. His brother Richard, a lieutenant colonel, was slain at York during 
the sortie and repulse of the Roundheads, Sunday, June 17th, 1644. His 
body was buried in the Minster the day following. 

The old hall has a wonderful chain of unbroken history stretching over 
a thousand years, before which it is speculative. It is now a farmhouse, 
and, although much altered, still retains features picturesque and quaint. 
The shell of the chapel, built in the thirteenth century, is still remaining, 
but not used for religious purposes. 

Huddleston is also interesting by reason of its great limestone quarry, 
famed for building purposes— the best and most durable in Yorkshire — 
whence the great use of this stone in the construction of cathedrals, castles, 
and the surrounding churches and manor-houses. Thoresby says : " The 
quarry at Huddleston is also a delicate stone and has this peculiarity in it, 
that when the stone is new dug out it is so soft that it may be cut or 
wrought with a knife, but afterwards hardens by exposure to the air, the 
colour is also pure white, so that not only chimney pieces, but monuments 
in churches are made ; it is little inferior to marble." The antiquary's 
description is to the point, Huddleston quarries (Celtic : ceraig, rock) can 
easily be detected by their hardness and silvery whiteness. Tradition 
reports that Bishop Dyke, reaching from Sherburn to Cawood, was made 
deeper and wider and its course cut straight by the Archbishops, so that 
stone from this quarry might be floated down on rafts to Cawood and from 
thence by boat to York. In 1358 the Dean and Chapter of York took 
1 Huddleston delph ' on a lease for a period of eighty years and afterwards 
for another period of nineteen years. This quarry is said to have been 
known and used by the Romans. 

One and a half miles south-east of this place, by the path leading over 
waste (of old a wild forest region), is Newthorpe (Norse — the new 
settlement). It lies between Milford and Micklefield, about a mile from 
the latter. Here, whilst removing surface 'bearings' in 1881, trenches running 
east and west, and north and south, and V-shaped, about six feet deep, were 



discovered, the outer belt of earthwork having been thrown up round 
the crest of the hill ; these trenches were probably part of the same system 
as those already mentioned as existing in Huddleston old wood beyond. 
Near the trench was found the upper half of a hand millstone. Newthorpe, 
standing on the edge of a small vale, is a most primitive spot. From hence 
we pass to Steeton, one and a half miles away ; the land, as we go, gradually 
changing from limestone to sandstone, is gently undulating, and though all 
is now enclosed some part of the surface still bears signs of its primitive 

Steeton Hatx. 
Steeton stands on a plateau rising from a small valley which runs down 
to Milford. From evidences still remaining it has been a fair and stately 
in the 'brave 
days of old.' 
It is now a 
and a mere 
cantle of its 
former size. 

Under a grey massive 
specimen of a Gothic 
gateway, early fifteenth 
century, we pass into the 
courtyard to the house — a 
centre and one wing alone 
remaining, and this only a 
confused jumble. The 
interior contains a huge 
fireplace, and in the wall of 
what is now used as a dining 

room is a piscina, suggesting this part of the house to have been the chapel 
built by the " Wilghbys " early in the thirteenth century. From the above 
family Steeton came into the hands of the Reygates, and from them by 
marriage to the Foljambes. The chapel formerly at the end of the south 
aisle in Sherburn Church, belonging to this family, was known as the 
Steeton Chapel. 

[G. Fowler Jones. 



On the outer wall of the dining room, or supposed chapel, of the 4 Hall 1 
farm runs a tabular corbelled course, on which are a number of old shields 

and sculptured crests. The 
one most prominent, in the 
centre, seems to represent 
the Paschal Lamb, and is 
known, locally, as the 
" Steeton Rackett" (or Rec- 
kitt), connecting a ghost 
story to the hall, which has 
been repeated from father 
to son for generations. 

The story of the Reckett 
or Reckling — the smallest 
or weakest of a brood, be it 
lamb, kitten, or whelp, in 
the folk-speech of the north 
— is variously described: one 
version reports that it was 
brought hither from the 
quarry, during the building 
of the Hall, with the last 
load of stones ; and its effigy, 
to be seen on the corbelled 
table, and known as the 
" Steeton Rackett," is 
thought to be the outward 
and visible sign of its having 
actually existed, now 
doomed for ever to wander 
around the Hall for good or evil. This uncanny sprite is of a peaceable 
nature except when interfered with ; then its rage is noisy and fearsome : 
whence we say, to kick up a ' racket.' 

Black spleenwort — a fern, nowhere else to be found in such quantity within 
twelve miles of Leeds — is to be found flourishing on the interior walls, and 
also on the wall of an outbuilding. Originally, there were four gateway 
towers — one on each side of the walled square surrounding the house. 
Foundations of these outer walls are in many places to be traced, enclosing a 

IG Fowler J ones. 


goodly plot of land. In its palmy days, it has, indeed, been a fair and 
stately structure, with its battlemented walls and towers. 

Standing before the old gateway, imagination can easily picture the 
events and fill in the shadows of other days. The old tower is now the sole 
survivor of the pomp and pageantry which in mediaeval times passed through 
its portal. 

A mile or so over the fields rests, peacefully slumbering, the hamlet of 
Lumby, picturesque with its old nooks and corners, farm buildings, ivy- 
clad walls and thatched cots. 

To the east, crossing the great North Road, Monk Fryston is soon 
reached, a village with many picturesque features and touches of old- worldism ; 
it is, however, outside our limit, so we return by way of Milford, a place of 
Angle origin — " The ford at the mill." It possesses no distinct characteristic 
feature. The Domesday record says : 

il In Mileforde (Milford) Ulfstan had two carucates of laud to be taxed, where 
there may be one plough. Turften now has it of Ilbert, There are there four villanes 
and five bordars, but they do not plough. Value in King Edward's time ten shillings, 
now ten shillings." 

Like Sherburn it lay right in the track of the Conqueror when on his work 
of retribution and revenge, but at neither place do we find the ominous 
words "it is waste" appended to the record. 

Here we obtain a proof of William's clemency to Archbishop Aldred, 
or " Baldred," the man from whose hands he had received the crown of 
England at Westminster, and who at that ceremonial exacted from the 
king a solemn promise to protect his Saxon subjects, which doubtless in 
good faith he intended to do had not circumstances altered the tenor of 
his resolution. 

From the south side, looking over the roofs of the village, with its 
admixture of orchard, garden, and old farmsteads (some of the latter 
still retaining the quaint thatched outbuildings), the place is very interesting 
and suggestive of olden time. We take a glance at Bondbridge Farm with 
its antique kraal-like outbuildings. Just beyond is the little double-arched 
stone bridge marking the division of the two parishes, South Milford and 
Sherburn. Here in the pool the ducks and geese disport, and the little 
glen down which the stream flows is very delightful. 

Just over the meadow, on the north side of the brook, is the old water- 
mill ; though much nearer Milford it is in the parish of Sherburn. How 
poetical the spot appears as one lingers in the sombre twilight, listening 
to the plash of falling water, and watching the shadows deepen around the 
ancient mill. 



Following a branch of the great North Road from Milford through 
the long street of Sherburn, past the ' Red Bear ' (reminiscent of coaching 
days), a mile or so from the latter place we reach Barkston. Barkston Ash 
is the head of a Wapentake of nearly one hundred thousand acres. 

"In Barcheston (Barkston) Saxulf had one carucate of land to be taxed. Land 
to half a plough. Ilbert has now there one sokeman with one plough. Value in King 
Edward's time, ten shillings ; the same now." 

There is not much of importance architecturally in the place. A 
stranger might find much to interest and charm around the farm buildings 

of an earlier age ; yet 
it is a focus of vast 
antiquity. The ash 
tree — the try sting spot 
of olden time — is not 
of great growth or age, 
but it forms a visible 
evidence and link, and 
is the successor of a 
patriarch which once 
flourished on the same 


spot, pointing to institutions and customs belonging to the far past. The 
hamlet gave its name to a knightly family, the De Barkeston, who held 
lands here for four centuries, but who have been long extinct. 

Scarthingwell Hall adjoins Barkeston. The mansion stands in the 
centre of a beautiful park, well timbered and adorned with stretches of 
water, grassy dell and woodland glade. It is a natural aviary for birds, 
amongst which are to be seen a few rare visitants. 


From the higher ground beyond, the outlook over the Fen district, when 
light and shadow play across the wide expanse, is ever changing — now a 
nickering sunbeam, then shade. A soft, diffused silver-grey hue, like a 
shimmering veil, at times shrouds the landscape. Through this film a 
church or abbey tower looms strongly, or a glimmer of sunlight locates the 
red-tiled roofs of a fen village, and in the middle distance the Minster towers 
of York reveal the position of the old city. 

Not a little of the history of Lower Wharfedale has been moulded by 
the extent of its flat lands and vast water patches. For instance, if we 
glance at the great military position of Barwick, we find the chief obstacle 
which contributed mainly to its strength was the several reaches of river 
and fen which nearly surrounded it in the past, the retreat and refuge of 
the vanquished Celt. The forcing of the swampy line of the River Cock at 
Aberford was a work of no small difficulty to the Roman, and the natural 
strength of the position defended is still very obvious. The same difficulty 
occurred later to the Angles and Normans, but not to the Norsemen and 
Danes for they were ' shipmen ' ; a life on the water was theirs by nature, 
to them the surging of the sea was like the sweetest music, and they found 
a convenient passage for their keels along the River Ouse and its tributaries. 
Thus they gained a foothold into the fenland and river valleys and turned 
the flank of the position where preceding invaders had been brought to a 
halt. Hence it is from the swamps of the Don to York we find Norse names 
indicating the majority of settlements, and from the mouth of the Wharfe 
westward and northward we find such names predominating. 

Men of fourscore years tell us how greatly the flats have changed since 
their youth, vast reaches of swamp and uncultivated land existed between 
Ryther, Ulleskelf, Fenton, and Sherburn, tenanted by flocks of wild fowl. 
It is now nearly all reclaimed and the farmer seems to be a fairly pros- 
perous individual hereabouts. 

A thousand or twelve hundred years ago the state of the fenland, 
between the course of the lower Aire and Wharfe, was strangely different. 
There hung a wilderness, wild, lonesome, and desolate, darkened by fog and 
rolling mist, through which the rivers sullenly crept ; even at this time in 
winter the long stretches of lowland wears an uninteresting and gloomy 
aspect. The Romans had done something in their day by dyke and 
drain to improve the state of things, and one Roman relates about a 
curious and strange people who dwelt in the fens partly swimming and 
partly wading. Another historian tells how vast flocks of wild fowl nearly 



darkened the fens ; here congregated swans, herons, storks, geese, bitterns, 
curlews, snipe, ruffs, plovers, godwits, moor buzzards, water crakes and 
.coots, widgeon, teal, sheldrake, pintailed duck, and a host of other birds, 
many of which have now become extinct or disappeared on the breaking 
up of the land. 

Church, or Kirk, 
Fenton, about one 
and a half miles from 
Barkston, in pre- 
railway days lay fairly 
off the beaten track ; 
to-day it is connected 
with the busy centres 
by a good train service. 
On every hand, 
in our walk, we note 
the evidence of a vast 
amount of labour per- 
formed by yeomen in 
reclaiming the land. 
The chartulary of the 
priory of Helaugh, to 
which a large portion 
of the lands of Fenton 
were given, throws 
some light on the 
early history of this 
place. It was late in 
the thirteenth cen- 
tury before very much 
reclamation had 
taken place, and the 
church then was very incomplete. About that time Nicholas de Percy, of 
Fenton, when William, the chaplain, was vicar, gave a rent of one penny 
out of a toft to find a light to burn before the image of the Blessed Virgin ; 
perhaps there seems no great splendour in such a gift, nor can we ascribe 
a very high development to the Fenton of that day. The place from which the 
rent was derived is, however, interesting. It is the homestead of William, 
son of Gamel, at Biggan, a township which in after years the Canons of 




Helaugh always speak of as " New Biggying." The land about the church 
was called the " Aldfeld " (Oldfield), and there the parson was located, 
dwelling about the "head landis." We find such names as a John de 
Brunne, a Robert de Wextow, Henry de Huk, and a Robert GolyfF, etc. 

Seen from many points the church makes a striking feature in the Fen 
landscape. Originally a Norman church, it has been added to and con- 
siderably altered from time to time, and its architecture is thus varied from 
transitional to decorated and perpendicular. It consists of nave, one aisle, 


transepts, chancel, and square tower in the centre resting on four massive 
early English columns. The lancet windows and transitional arches are 
noticeable features. In the floor of the chapel, south transept, there were 
found, at the last restoration, two stone coffins, one containing the bones of 
an adult, and the other the remains of a child. The walls of this transept 
contain an ogee canopied recess, which formerly held the effigy of a lady, 
now to be seen on the chancel floor ; the costume is that of late fourteenth 
century, the symbolical device at her feet represents a lion and some foul 
fiend in deadly combat ; and here also are two altar slabs bearing the five 
crosses, and also an early English piscina. One relic denotes the existence 
of a Norman church, the bowl of the original font resting on the sill of the 
window at the west end. 


Fenton forms a most interesting study; around it linger curious 
survivals, and primitive ideas and customs still tenaciously cling to it. 
The rustic porch covered with woodbine, red brick walls, tiled roofs of the 
same hue resting amidst green surroundings— the footpaths over meadow 
and cornfield, over which the lark floods the air with melody, and wild 
flowers grow, the undisturbed antiquity and beauty around the churchyard. 
Only a small remnant of what has been the village green, locally the "green 
hill," on slightly rising ground, remains. 

A portion of what appears to have been a market cross is still left 
standing in the centre of the former market-place* ; on the opposite side 
of the street of old stood a substantial hall (in the Subsidy Roll taken 1379 
there is mention of one Isabella, at ye Halle, by this we obtain evidence of 
the existence of the house at that early date) ; about half of the moat which 
enclosed a large plot of land, in which the house stood, still exists, to the 
south of which the fenland for some distance is still known locally as the 
' oad pake' (park). During the demolition of the old house a piscina and 
other relics were discovered in the walls, the latter were of extraordinary 
thickness. A few other antique features, a font, etc., are in the garden, 
and the above, with the remains of the moat, are the only mementoes of the 
old hall. 

Around the aged walls of the farm adjoining the churchyard, lingers 
all that peculiar charm and old-time peacefulness and rusticity ; the duck 
pond is a survival of the moat which formerly surrounded it. Here the 
ducks and geese disport, birds sing in the trees and hedgerows, the turkey- 
cock (whose name — Turk — is no misnomer) gabbles defiantly at our intrusion, 
a swarm of crows wheel and circle high above the roofs and weather-beaten 
tower, even the implements, strewn about in random confusion amongst 
the nettles and other weeds, are all characteristic of old time. 

Vine Cottage, situated at the east end of straggling Fenton, is another 
interesting and picturesque feature : a rough-hewn timbered structure, 
retaining its thatched roof, overhanging eaves, and leaded-paned windows. 
The grape, from whence it receives its name, ripens under its eaves; 
trailing plants, fruiting ivy, woodbine, and old English flowers, cling 
tenaciously about the crevices of its walls. In springtime, when sunlight 
gilds and shadows flicker, birds trill their sweetest lays', and flowers shed 
delicious fragrance, 'tis, indeed, a charming old-world picture. The structure 
has undergone slight alterations ; the original building dates from Tudor 

* There appears to be no account of a market held here. 



days, evidences of a moat which, in the past, surrounded it can still be 
traced. The interior, with ingle nook, and primitive posts, beams, and 
joists, is replete with age and imagery ; every object the eye rests upon, in 
the farmstead and large orchard adjoining, is full of rustic beauty and old- 
world sleepiness. The weather-beaten gnarled trees, twisting hedgerows, 
and the obsolete farm domestic utensils, thrown carelessly into such picturesque 
grouping, are all pregnant with an odour of the past ; apart from which is 

that sweet commingling of vocal 
sound from bird and fowl, arous- 
ing pleasant reminiscences of 
other homesteads and days gone 

A mile or so south-east of 
Church Fenton is Little Fenton, 
a small hamlet; Hall Garth, a 
moated site, is, perhaps, the only 
remaining vestige here of other 
days. The village folk say there 
are ghosts still existing here- 
abouts : at the house yonder in 
the fields some unearthly visitant, 
whose spirit cannot rest, wanders 
in the lonely hours between night 
and morning ; uncanny noises are 
heard, pots are at times banged 
about, doors flung open, and 
window blinds unwind without 
visible aid, mysteriously — so the 
credulous womenfolk assert and 
firmly believe. 

Onward, through fen and 
dyker land, down wide green lanes, 
shut in by deep ditches on either hand, and past swampy patches of 
unreclaimed ground, where aged trunks of gnarled willows stand forth in 
the twilight, gaunt and spectre-like, here, by the wayside, is Fenton Grange, 
built in 1766, on the site of a more ancient structure. Beyond is Fenton 
Lodge, a very old foundation. Half a mile east we reach Biggin Grange : 
here we obtain many glimpses and touches of a past age. The house is of 
two periods, the new portion dates back a little over a century, the 



other to the Tudor period. This Grange is also famed for its ghost, in 
form of a mysterious lady, attired in the costume of the seventeenth century 
— rich brocaded silk — which, an occupant informed us, could ofttimes be 
distinctly heard rustling, as the spirit wandered to and fro in the silent 
hours of night. We were shown into the room where this eerie visitant 
was usually heard, who, if not disturbed whilst wandering, caused very little 
commotion ; on the contrary, if interfered with, the ghost ' takes on ' and 
raves about (for a benighted spirit) most strangely. Many years ago, the 
farmer then dwelling at the Grange returned home late from Cawood, in a 
rather jocular mood, having taken a ' wee drappie too much speerit,' and, 
being thus full of courage, began to mock and imitate the unearthly visitant, 
but he was so furiously assailed that he never again ventured to disturb the 
wanderings of the uncanny one. 

The township of Biggan is nearly midway between Sherburn and 
Cawood, and on the north-west side of the Bishopdyke. Biggan — to build 
(a shelter) — one of the outposts of Teutonic cultivation — in the parlance of 
the Canons of Helaugh, the ' newbiggyng,' and possibly its beginning does 
not reach far beyond the Conquest era, as there is no mention of the place 
in Domesday. 

Hereabouts the land is very slightly elevated above the general level of 
the fens, and here were several homesteads as early as the thirteenth cen- 
tury, as the mention of some of the persons located at Biggan testify : — 
" William-Fitz-Gamel," whose name bespeaks Norse descent, " Alan-de- 
Newebiggyng," " Peter-de-Brugge," and u Roger-the-Dyker ; " also one 
Robert-del-le-Dyke, of Stokbrigg, gave lands to Healaugh Priory. So we 
find the settlement at Biggan in the thirteenth and succeeding centuries, and 
in those early days the hardy pioneers were busy dyking, banking, draining, 
planting, and gradually reclaiming and raising, and bringing all the low 
watery swamp wastes and desolate fen, between Barkston and Cawood, under 
cultivation, whilst Bishopdyke has relieved the laud of its surplus of waters, 
and extinguished the eerie flame of the once frequent will-o'-the-wisp. In 
the dark months of winter when the winds are abroad and the storm howls, 
the fens are still eerie and desolate, but to-day a garden compared with the 
sterile region those patient yeomen of old had to wrestle with. In pre- 
railway times, a road ran past Biggan to the ferry at Nunnappleton, and 
from thence to York. It is now disused. 

A little distance from Biggan, and adjoining the Bishop's Dyke, stands 
Mattram Hall, a moated site. Wheater supposes this to have been a 
hospital, built in honour of St. Mary Magdalene, and endowed by the 



Vavasours, celebrated for the foundation of other cells in remote places, 
where the roads were dangerous, and the district bleak and wild. The 
place has evidently been of some pretension, but its characteristic features 
are lost.* 

»«» * 


* Away south two hills, notable for their isolation, being conspicuous objects for miles 
around, loom on the horizon, namely, Brayton Barp and Hambleton Haugh. These conical 
eminences form a guiding point both for landsmen and sailors ascending the Humber. 


Here we cross Bishopdyke and enter the road which runs by the side 
of the dyke to Cawood. The land immediately to the south of Bishop's 
Dyke is known by the name of ' Rust,' or ' Rest ' Park. It was enclosed for 
a hunting seat by Archbishop Walter de Grey, in the early years of the 
thirteenth century. The eastern fringe of the park forms the boundary of 
the ' liberty ' of Cawood, Wistow, and Otley. Within the limits of the park 
are two entrenched positions, but of which scarcely a shred of history 

Half a mile south of Mattram Hall is a strongly-moated site, called 
Manor Garth. The house is supposed to have been built and fortified by 
Archbishop Alexander Nevill, who received a licence from the king to 
fortify and make a fortress of his ' manor of rest.' The park is now appor- 
tioned into farms. 

Bishop Wood is immediately to the right of the road leading from 
Sherburn to Cawood. By the old people it is known as ' Cow-ud Forest,' 
and they still tell us of bears, wild boar, and wolves, which formerly infested 
it, as if the thing had only happened in the days of their grandsires. At 
the present time the extent is not half of that originally planted by the Arch- 
bishops. Many a grand hunting scene has been witnessed here ; a few of 
the smaller wild animals still survive, such as the weasel, polecat, and pine 
martin : the latter, though very scarce, has been seen in this district by the 
writer, lately. Here, also, frequented a plover, known as the ruffle or ruif, 
and sixty years ago the forest was quite a hotbed of hag worms or snakes . 



g^J HIS town is situated on the south bank of the Ouse, a few hundred 
xSJ yards below the mouth of the Wharfe, yet much of the parish lies in 
the basin of the latter river. The local pronunciation of the place- 
name — 'Cow-ud' — still preserves its meaning: the original settlement of 
Celtic founding in their ' coed ' — a wood, as in Bettws-y-coed. Here, we 
imagine, some of the old British race, on being ousted from the eastern side 
of Elmet by the invading Angle, have taken up their abode in this inhos- 
pitable marsh and forest of fenland ; and here, no doubt, they were left 
unmolested until the advent of the Dane, who, in the ninth and succeeding 
centuries, formed settlements all along the river vales. 

In imagination we see a vast forest, full of fens, stagnant water, and 
marshy wastes. The rude dwellings of our remote ancestors stood on the 
highest ground adjoining the tawny waters of the Ouse, around which was 
a strong enclosure to protect them, as well from the swords and spears of 
men, as from the wild beasts of the forest, at that time numerous. As time 
rolls by, we see passing, the galleys of Imperial Rome, that richly decorated 
vessel, probably containing Constantine, Emperor of the world, gliding 
along the bosom of the Ouse to York, the beautiful city of old, and the home 
of Emperors one thousand eight hundred years ago. Merchants from the 
East sailed hither, bringing bales of Oriental goods. Great military roads 
opened communication throughout Britain, and land that had only been 
waste and dreary brought forth fruit in abundance. When the Romans 
left Britain, a great change came o'er the scene : ruin, havoc, and desolation 
in the place of former peace and prosperity. Vessels, filled with Pagans in 
quest of empire and plunder, arrived from old Saxony, and their descendants 
are still pressing southward, westward, and eastward in quest of wealth 
and empire. 

220 the old kingdom of elmet. 

The Coming of the Saxon. 

An ancient writer says — " The whelps of the - Barbarian Lioness ' 
arrived in three ships of largest size at the bidding of an ill-omened 
tyrant. They were soon afterwards joined by a much larger brood, who 
professed themselves ready to meet any perils for the sake of their worthy 
hosts, for which they required that certain supplies should be furnished 
them ; these being provided for a time, stopped the - dog's mouth,' but the 
strangers, anxious for a quarrel, demanded larger supplies than could be 
given, which, not forthcoming, the war of centuries between Saxon and 
Celt commenced." 

Over these miseries we pass to the frightful invasion of piratical hordes 
from Skania, who sailed up the Ouse in their war-galleys, leaving ru in and 
devastation on all sides. Then along the riversides might be seen the 
plunder of churches and the glare of burning town and city. 

Cawood, standing by the ever-flowing riverway, received its full share 
of disaster, but from the time of the first Wulstan the castle and town 
gradually rose to great importance. The last invasion of the Sea Kings 
was in 1066. Entering the Humber and thence passing up the Ouse, they 
landed at Riccall, near Cawood, from which place they swept the country 
around, leaving such havoc and ruin that a century was needed to repair, 
and to this day the old people of the district tell many a legend about their 
ancestors fighting the savage Dene, evidently being entirely unconscious of 
the fact that they are the Denes' descendants.* 

Two events render Cawood renowned in history: one for sheltering, 
in his adversity, that great ambitious churchman, Wolsey ; also the place 
where the most celebrated banquet was given by Archbishop George Neville, 
the brother of Warwick, the king-maker. The first mention of the place 
is about 935, after Athelstan's celebrated victory over the invaders at the 
battle of Brunanburgh. Cawood, like Sherburn, was given by the victorious 
king to the see of York, as a home for the northern prelates. A very fine 
specimen of ancient gateway and tower of the castle still remain, and early 
English windows are still prominent features in the adjoining farm buildings. 

* Trade has apparently given Cawood a fair by prescription. For the towns of his 
other manor-houses Archbishop Walter de Grey obtained a little concession. On the 
23rd August, 1239, King Henry III. grants the Archbishop a yearly fair at his Manor of 
Ottele for two days, on the vigil and day of St. Mary Magdalene, 22nd of July, and a weekly 
market on the Monday. At Sherburn a two days' fair also, on the vigil and da}* of the 
Exaltation of the Holy Cross, 14th September, and a weekly market on the Friday. 



The meadow in front is yet called the ' Bishop's Close.' Around the meadow 
are distinct traces of the moat. What a series of historic scenes arise as we 
ponder over the history of this castle ! 

"Visions of days departed, shadowy phaiitoins, fill my brain, 
They who live iu history seem to walk the earth again." 

From the twelfth to the sixteenth century this castle was the home or 
shelter of many of the noblest in church and camp. Henry III. and his 
Queen rested here awhile when journeying to Scotland to visit their daughter 
Margaret, wife of Alexander III. Here dwelt Marguerite of France, second 
wife of Edward I. During the time this old warrior was fighting the 
Scotch, and when the storm and noise of war was hushed, we can fancy the 


monarch hastening to Cawood, to the society of his beautiful young bride. 
From this time the castle rose to its greatest height of feudal grandeur. 
Here gathered around the gallant king were the crusading knights of many 
an ancient house, who had withstood the shock of arms when fighting the 
Saracens on the plains of Palestine, and shared in all the dangers of the 
last great Crusade, and afterwards followed the banner of Edward into the 
wilds of Scotland. 

The old tower now looks desolate and mournfully isolated, debased by 
the company of farm buildings, but let the screen of five centuries roll away, 
and the Windsor of the North stands forth in all its majesty. The walls 
are thick, and, in time of war, strongly guarded : he who comes in peace or 
war passes over a strong drawbridge,* and thence, through the watch tower, 

* Foundations of both can still be detected. 



to the castle. Men-at-arms guard the massive gate day and night, the deep 
moat, full of stagnant water (its traces still to be seen), embraced two sides of 
the castle or palace, on the other side Bishopdyke and the brown waters of 
the Ouse formed a natural protection. 

Within this area is ample space for the accommodation of king, arch- 
bishop, baron, knight and squire, men-at-arms, retainers, cooks, scullions, 
and every attendant necessary to uphold the dignity of a castle in the days 
of feudalism. Here would be held many a brilliant tournament, when earl 
and baron, knight and 
squire assembled from all 
parts to join in the honours 
of the tilting ring. The 
sound of baying of 
hounds, and the tramp- 
ling of horses, proclaim 
the king is chasing deer 
Bishopwood, at that 

mmm i 





m , 



C\W w l>C*STt£ 


time a forest of great ex- 
tent, in which roamed 
herds of roebuck, and 
smaller animals. 'Tis the 
evening of the chase, the 
banquet room is made 
brilliant with large 
torches, and the favour- 
ite guests of the king 
are assembled; the 
jesters, clad in fantastic 
garments, and minstrels 
make the hall resound 

with song and story. Thus, in varied rounds of pleasure or clash of arms, 
the ever-changing scenes roll by. 

Edward II. and his Queen made Cawood their home on several 
occasions. After the disaster to the English at Bannockburn, the victors 
burst over Yorkshire with the fury of a whirlwind, carrying war and retri- 
bution to the very gates of York. 

In 13 19, Queen Isabella, being the guest of the Archbishop at Cawood, 
two renowned Scottish knights, Douglas and Randolph, with a chosen body 

[G. T. L. 



of troops, lightly armed, and mounted on small but active horses, by a 
swift march burst through Yorkshire, with the hopes of making the Queen 
their prisoner, but by a fortunate accident a Scot fell into the hands of the 
English, and from him they received warning of the projected attack on 
Cawood. Hurriedly collecting the force York could muster for protection, 
the Queen was apprised of her danger and brought to York, and sent thence 
to Nottingham for greater security, to the disappointment of the Black 
Douglas and Randolph. 

" Husli ye, hush ye, little pet ye, 
Hush ye, hush ye, do not fret ye, 
The Black Douglas shall not get ye." 

In 1464, George Neville, brother of the great Earl of Warwick, last of 
the barons and king-maker, was elevated to the See of York, and it being 
customary for every incoming prelate to give a feast, Neville gave at 
Cawood the most varied and sumptuous banquet ever recorded in history. In 
the preparation of it nearly 2,000 people were employed. The contents of 
the bill of fare were as follows : — 

11 104 oxen, 1,000 sheep, over 500 stags, bucks, and does, 400 swans, 2,000 geese, 1,000 
capons, 200 pheasants, 500 partridges, 400 woodcocks, 100 curlews, 400 plovers, 2,000 
chickens, 4,000 mallards and teals, 4,ooopigeons, 1,500 hot pasties of venison, 4,000 cold ditto, 
2,000 hot custards, 3,000 cold ditto, besides some hundreds of tuns of ale and wine, with 
spices and delicacies, etc., etc." 

Some time afterwards, Neville was stripped of all his estates, arrested, and 
cast into prison ; thus the great banquet would in after years be food for his 
serious reflection. 

Here Wolsey, most famous of churchmen and prince of cardinals, 
found a home in his adversity. The story of his rise to the highest honours 
and dignities in the state, and his downfall, is a most instructive lesson in 
English history. Having incurred the displeasure of the king, he was 
constrained to deliver up the great seal of office, and ordered to his archi- 
episcopal residence at Cawood, where he arrived in the autumn of 1530, 
being received by the people most enthusiastically. By his courtesy and 
kindness he soon became a great favourite in the neighbourhood. After 
the work of putting the palace into repair he began to make arrangements 
for his enthronement in the cathedral at York, a ceremony the performance 
of which had been delayed by his previous living and ambitious projects 
about the court. From the summit of his palace he could see the shrine 
where he hoped to be enthroned, rising in stately splendour above the old 
city. What visions of future labour and memories of the past would leap 



before his gaze. Only three days previous to his intended installation he 
was suddenly arrested on a charge of high treason by the Earl of Northumber- 
land, and forced to set out for London. So great a favourite had he become 
that the servants and country people would willingly have defended him, 
but resistance was useless. He was taken from Cawood, which he had 

learned to love, and, falling 
sick by the way, he died at 
Leicester Abbey. A few 
hours before his death he 
addressed those ever memor- 
able words to Sir William 
Kingston, " If I had served 
God as diligently as I have 
done the King, He would 
not have given me over in 
my grey hairs; however, 
this is the just reward that I 
must receive for my worldly 
diligence and pains ; that I 
may have to do him service 
only to satisfy his vain plea- 
sure, not regarding my godly 

In 1628, George Montaign, 
son of a farmer at Cawood, 
had the greatest honours of 
the Church conferred upon 
him, being made Archbishop 
of York, and dwelling in the 
castle of his native town. 
There is a memorial to him 
on the south wall of the 
church. Fuller says he was 
chaplain to the Earl of Essex, 
whom he attended on his 
voyage to Calais. He was a 
man of such personal valour, that out of his gown he would turn his back 
to no man, and was afterwards made Dean of Westminster, then successively 
Bishop of Lincoln and London. Whilst residing in the latter place he 





would often pleasantly say that of himself the proverb would be verified, 
" Lincoln was, and London is, and York shall be," which came to pass 
accordingly. He appears to have been an inveterate punster. The see of 
York being vacant, the King was at a loss for a fit person to succeed to that 
exalted position, and asked Bishop Mountayne's opinion, whose wit, his best 
friend through life, did not desert him at that critical moment. Upon 
hearing the King's question, the doctor replied, "Hadst thou faith as a 
grain of mustard seed, thou would'st say to this mountain " (at the same time 
laying his hand upon his breast) " be removed into that see." His Majesty is 
said to have laughed immoderately, and forthwith conferred the preferment 
upon the facetious prelate. 

During the Civil War, the town, castle, and surrounding parts were the 
scene of some skirmishing. In 1644, the castle was captured by Lord 
Fairfax. In 1646, the House of Commons decreed that the Castle of Cawood 
should be made untenable, and no garrison in future maintained there. 
After gradually falling into decay, some of its timber and stones were used 
in the building of the Palace of Bishopthorpe, now the residence of the 
Archbishop of York. 

With the exception of the gateway and tower, and remnants of Norman 
Gothic windows in the farm buildings, little now remains of the stately 
palace, the abode of the Primates in the days of feudalism ; yet the exact 
area of the walled and moated enclosure can still be distinctly traced out. 
The large, lofty barn on the south of the gateway (with its beautiful 
Edwardian windows in the old brick walls) still remains ; it formerly con- 
tained an upper floor, and was the banqueting hall of the Archbishop. In 
this place, where kings and queens have dwelt, lowly cattle are now stabled, 
and where in former times were held sumptuous feasts, amid rich scenes of 
magnificence, corn is now garnered and threshed. Such are a few of the 
incidents of the town and castle, and the shadowy figures of great men. 
It is well to linger here and consider the changes time has wrought. Yet, 
though the old baronial days may be rich in story and tradition, let us hope 
Cawood's future will be brighter than its past.* 

* Archbishop Bowett (1407-26) was a generous guardian of the fabric ; it was he who 
built the wall and the great hall. He not only kept the fabric of the castle in good repair, 
but was especially commended for his unbounded hospitality: "And, truly," as Drake 
quaintly remarks, "if the consumption of fourscore tuns of claret, which is said to have 
been yearly spent in his several palaces, can make us guess at the lesser matters, it must 
argue beef and ale in abundance." To this purpose he built the great hall in the castle of 



" Where have ye gone, ye statesmen great, 
That have left your home so desolate ? 
Where have 3'e vanished, king and peer. 
And left what ye liv'd for lying here ? 
Sin can follow where gold may not, 
Pictures and books the damp may rot; 
And creepers hang frail lines of flowers, 
Down the crevices of ancient towers ; 
But what hath passed from the soul of mortal, 

Be it thought or word of pride, 
Hath gone with him through the dim, low portal, 

And waiteth by his side." 

In 1872 a fine iron bridge was built across the Ouse — a great boon to the 
inhabitants of this district. Previous to its erection the following incident 
occurred : — One night the carrier's waggon from York to Cawood was cros- 
sing the river by the ferry at the latter place, the usual mode up to that 
time. The night being wild and stormy, the wind blowing with great 
force on the cover of the waggon caused the ferryboat to become unmanage- 
able, forcing it down the river, where, coming in contact with a barge, the 
waggon full of people was upset into the river ; fortunately only one life 
was lost, viz., the carrier, who by giving up his last chance of life saved 
his wife's. A boatman came to the rescue of two people, the driver and his 
wife, Bessie, struggling in the river. Leaning over the side of his boat he 
got hold of both of them, but being unable to save the two, finding his 
strength unequal to the task, he said, " Ah can only save yan, which 'es it 
te be?" " Save Bessie," was the noble answer from the drowning carrier, 
as he fell from the grasp of the boatman into the dark waters of the river ; 
which, if I mistake not, never gave back his body. Nearly thirty years 
have passed since this sad accident happened, and Bessie Pilmer is still alive 
and resides in the James Hospital, erected for four poor people according to 
the will of William James, in the early years of the eighteenth century. 

Although to a great extent the charm of Cawood lies in the memories 
which linger around its castle, yet the town, with its deep-toned brick 
dwellings and red-tiled roofs, uneven of contour, is full of quaint little 
pictures ; and by way of contrast the buildings are intermixed with portions 
of finely-chiselled stones from the Huddleston quarries, brought hither in the 

Cawood, and his manor-house at Otley. His grave was opened in the seventeenth century 
and a ring found in the coffin bearing the inscription : " Honneur etjoye" — "A most appro- 
priate motto," says Wheater, "for one who was probably like Joviuian." The chapel 
attached to the castle, often mentioned in deeds, stood about midway between the old gate- 
way and river ; fragments of this chapel existed in memory of men now living. 



first instance for the nprearingof the castle. Time has only given additional 
hardness and durability to this stone, and also tinted it with a soft silvery 
grey. So, fragments of the castle can be detected all about the village 
outskirts and in many an out-of-the-way corner ; even the latest new glaring 
red-bricked structure by the church shows one block of famous Huddleston 
stone in its walls. Cawood was the port from which the stone from the 
Huddleston quarries was shipped to York. Various means were adopted 
in transporting the stone to Cawood — by wains, sledding or floating on 
punts down Bishopdyke to the Ouse. 

[F. Dean. 


L,ike Boroughbridge and other old places, Cawood possesses quite a 
number of ancient hostelries, whose quaint interiors, oak-panelled rooms, 
and ingle nooks are the joy of the tired traveller. 

The mediaeval splendour depicted on the gateway of the castle, its rich 
oriel windows, and the beautiful specimens of transition (early English and 
Tudor) work, displayed in the farm buildings, are too well known for 
further description. 



Wistowgate possesses several pleasing types of domestic architecture, of 
the Elizabethan period, with picturesque gables. The excellent quality of 
the brickwork testifies to the care of the builder. Here are evidences of the 
fairly prosperous condition of the yeoman. There are four interesting 
granges, of the late Tudor period, in the town, although now shorn to some 
extent of their old-time features. The Grange, Wistowgate, the residence 
of the Nicholsons, whose 
ancestors have dwelt here 
in direct succession for 
three centuries, formerly 
had a fine Tudor roof. 
There is still a very pretty 
porch with heavy oaken 
door well studded with 
nails, two panelled rooms, 
and rare bits of furniture. 
In the garden are several 
cannon balls, Cromwellian 
period, found on the land 
about here, and under the 
colonnade are life-sized 
figures of the four evan- 
gelists, partly mutilated. 
These were found at a re- 
storation of the church, 
buried face downwards by 
the walls of Cawood chapel. 
What a dignity and splen- 
dour these richly sculp- 
tured figures, with other 
images of saints, would 
give to Cawood Church of 
olden times. There are 
other old features notice- 
able—the wall surrounding 

the garden, and the row of aged pollard willows. In the meadows 
opposite the Grange stands a fragment of Keysbury Hall, belonging to the 
Lady of the Manor. Here a Court Leet is held every three years to collect 

\E. Bogg. 

1 OLD SOKE Mm.' 


fines for copyhold property.* The land on the south bank of the Wharfe 
hereabouts is a rich, loamy soil, suited for almost all kinds of vegetable 
produce, the seed-time and harvest of which finds employment for numer- 
ous women workers. 

The bridge is the rendezvous for all able-bodied men out of employ- 
ment, who, with hands deep in trousers pockets, perambulate that quarter ; 
ever and again scanning the river as if expecting some Danish war-prame 
or the stately barge of the prelates of old, to sweep round the curve of the 
stream ; or, perhaps, hoping for some rich prize to fall to their lot without 
toiling for it. 

In conversation with one of these bridge strollers (an old native) he, 
with a sigh drawn from far down the aisles of the past, said, " Ay, they had 
monny rum doin's doon at yon castle. They alius mede their feeasts last 
'em for monny a day, and I've heerd it tell't that ya dinner yance lasted oil t' 
year. Ay, bud them wor rare taimes, ya could eat and drink as mich as 
ivver ya liked for nowt. They mun hae been rich folks, for when I wur 
a lad 'ave heerd oad men say, that 'eaps o' gold and silver wor buried 
on this river side, and a can tak' ye ta a spot where a hide chuck full o' gold 
lies hid, if onnybody 'nil tak t' trouble ta dig for 't" ! 

Cawood has not been without interesting characters in the humbler 
walks of life. There was one John Fowler, or commonly ' Jacky ' (alias Lord 
Milton, or Milton Fowler), of whom are told many wonderful stories. 
Then there was the good-natured and easy-going old miller, who is still 

* Court LEET.— The view of fraiik-pledge, which is a court of record, held once iu 
a year, and not ofteuer, within a particular hundred, township, or manor, before the steward 
of the leet ; being the King's court, granted by charter to the lords of certain hundreds and 
manors. Its original intent was to view the frank-pledges, that is, the freemen within the 
liberty ; besides this the preservation of the peace and the chastisement of divers minute 
offences against the public good are the objects both of the court leet and the Sheriff's town, 
which have exactly the same jurisdiction, one being only a larger species of the other; extend- 
ing over more territory, but not over more causes. All freeholders within the precinct are 
obliged to attend them, and all persons cormorant, i.e., lying therein. But persons under 
twelve and above sixty years old, peers, clergymen, women, and the Crown's tenant in 
ancient demesne, are excused from attendance, all others being bound to attend upon the 
jury if required, and make their due presentments. 

It was also anciently the custom to summon all the King's subjects, as they respectively 
grew to the age of discretion and strength, to come to the court-leet, and there take the 
oath of allegiance. The other general business of the leet and town was to present by jury 
all crimes whatsoever that happened within their jurisdiction. Both the town and leet 
have been for a long time in a declining way, and latterly have fallen into almost total 
desuetude, and their business has gradually devolved upon the quarter sessions. 



kindly remembered, though the original ' Soke Mill,' of Cawood, has 
long since fallen into disuse. But if the miller was easy-going and careless, 
his wife was greedy of gain and grain. Scene — Miller's wife to the miller : 
"Has' ta mootur'd (multured) that corn?" "Ay, lass." "Wha, thoo 
hesen't auf mootur'd it, a'll mooture it agean." Such is the pith of the 
story told us by the site of the old Soke Mill. Then there is our worthy 

friend i Pepper,' whose 
eighty-seven years still sit 
lightly on him, and whose 
definition of place-names 
is somewhat original and 
startling. To him the 
connection between Acas- 
ter Selby, and the mother 
church of Selby, evidently 
has no existence, for he 
told us, with some show of 
pride, how the name origin- 
ated from vessels sailing 
past up the Ouse to York, 
hence Sail-by (Selby). 
Many and varied are the 
stories he told whilst driv- 
ing us about with his 
favourite steed ' Violet ' — 
whose colour was white. 
Of noblemen, the late 
Lord Wenlock is the one 
he loves to dilate upon 
most ; from his description, 
a gentleman by birth and 
nature alike. For many 
years ' Pepper ' was en- 
gaged in salmon fishing, and astounding captures in the past are recounted. 
He also took part in the celebrated Election between Lord Milton and 
Wilberforce, which happened over seventy years ago.* 

* A few years ago, an incident occurred just inside this village that goes far to prove 
the devotion and attachment of dumb animals to one another. The doctor of the place 
owned a favourite pony, used for visiting district patients. His two dogs, a retriever and a 




Let us now wander along the curve of the Ouse, to where the grey 
tower of the church stands as a sentinel over the tawny water, as it has 
stood nigh seven hundred years. Near it was a paved ford over the river, 
and here also stood the tithe barn, now demolished.* The position of the 

church is admirable, 
situated on the bank 
of a tidal river wind- 
ing about in grace- 
ful curves, and 
everything around 
contributes to one's 
sense of peace, pas- 
toral enjoyment and 
settled content. Our 
description of the 
fabric, although a 
fascinating theme, 
must be brief. The 
only portion of the 
original twelfth- 
century church re- 
maining is the 
western doorway 
and part of the wall 
adjoining it. The 
clustered shafts of 
the south arcade 
are remarkable for 


[E. Bogg. 

* Doubtless the old chapel (originally a small structure) was erected, in the first in- 
stance, near an ancient paved ford, which can still be located at low water. This church 
was either rebuilt or thoroughly restored about the middle of the twelfth century. The west 
doorway of the north aisle and bowl of the font are all that remain of this Norman church. 

greyhound, were the especial friends of the pony ; the three being inseparable companions 
either abroad or in the stable. One afternoon, as the doctor was returning from his visits, 
the pony dropped dead not far from the village. It was dragged into an adjoining field, but 
nothing could induce the dogs to quit the dead pony through the long, cold, late autumn 
night. The following day the body was buried deep in the earth. Still, strange to say, 
the faithful animals refused to leave the spot, scratching a bed in the soil, and for two days 
and nights kept watch and ward over the grave. Mr. Warrington, who saw them early on 
the second morning, told the writer the devoted animals were shaking from intense cold. 



their slender proportions, and this airy lightness is very pleasing and 
effective. The two lancet windows and doorway in the south wall of the 
chancel are very interesting examples of architecture. Part of the dismem- 
bered effigy, a memorial of Archbishop George Montaigne, seen in a chest 
on a former visit, has been restored ; the other part is no doubt in existence, 
and the whole figure ought to have been restored. Allen, in his history of 
the county of York, written in 1826, says : " Archbishop Mountain is 

interred in this church and 

i I 

has a handsome tomb." We 
have a feeling, almost 
amounting to adoration, for 
these old effigies, as we 
stand before them and pon- 
der on the time when they 
who now sleep trod these 
very aisles, or knelt in prayer 
at th e altar ! Broken tombs, 
monuments, and effigies are 
the links that indissolubly 
bind the past to the present. 
Another very interesting 
relic, namely, the bowl of 
an early English font, now 
degraded to the use of a 
pump trough (see picture) , 
is in the garden of the 
cottage hospital adjoining; 
this relic of the original 
church should be removed 
back into the church from 
whence it was thrown out 
some sixty years ago. 
Outside the east end of 
the churchyard wall is a 
panel bearing the impaled 
arms of the C a woods of 
Cawood, and Accloms of 
Morbey. This site, now unbuilt on, south side of the choir wall and east end 
of the south aisle, was formerly known as the Cawood Chapel, and it was 

•*»W»" >4v*&j* 



here in the ground, buried face downwards, that the life-sized figures in 
stone of the four evangelists were found, some years ago ; they are now to 
be seen under the colonnade of the Grange, Wistowgate. The question 
which naturally arises is : Have the figures been hidden at the Reformation, 
or during the Civil War, to protect them from destruction at the hands of 
the Ironsides. The Smiths, Morritts, Nicholsons, Wormalds, Warfingtons, 
and Mountains still reside at Cawood. 

Before passing into the Ainsty district, it would be well for us to take 
a glance at Wistow, the Wykestow of the old nomenclature. In our path 
through sandy, alluvial, garden-like land, we notice just off the wayside 
a huge and lightning-blasted oak, standing with gaunt arms extending like 
some bleached skeleton. This is the haunted oak, or c Goblin Tree,' and 
stout of heart were they who at nightfall passed it formerly without fear 
and trembling. It has weathered the storms of many centuries, and is the 
sole survivor of its former brethren hereabouts. To fully realise the scenery 
around Wistow, the place should be visited at two seasons— when the July 
sun has ripened the fruits of the earth — the potato harvest in full swing 
on the broad arable — and given splendid frondage to the trees and dressed 
the wayside hedgerows in plenitude of loveliness ; and by way of startling 
contrast, to fully understand the inhospitable aspect of winter, make a visit 
in the dark, dreary month of December, when the wide dun fields lie bare 
beneath a dark grey dome of sky.* 

When Wistow was the Wykestow (the name denotes a watery situation) 
it stood at a very sharp angle of the River Ouse, which has since cut its way 
through the neck of the loop. The village is now a mile from the river, but 
the former way of the stream is still visible. Over this old course the 

* Some eighty years ago, Cawood and the villages around were infested with hordes of 
gipsies, whose king was one Largee Young, a man of immense strength. A terror to the 
neighbourhood, his profession was poaching and thieving. So afraid were the inhabitants 
of offending him, that for several years he defied the laws with impunity. Being a practised 
horse thief, he was one night seen by a farmer leading a horse from his stable. Following 
and overtaking the gipsy in the fields near Hebden farm, the farmer demanded his horse. 
The gipsy with fearful oaths swore he would murder him. A terrible fight took place, which 
would probably have ended in the death of the farmer, but fortunately the noise of the 
strife brought Hebden to the rescue, armed with a large hatchet. The two men proved 
more than a match for the gipsy king. Young was tried at the Castle; tribes of gipsies from 
far and near attended the trial ; every means possible were adopted by the wanderers to 
induce the farmers to withdraw from the prosecution, but in vain. Amongst other things 
offered, as a native quaintly told the writer, was "a quairt pot chuck up wi' gold." The 
gipsy king was exported beyond seas. The farmer who captured him was for his courage 
presented with a silver tankard, which, lately kept at an inn in these parts, enabled thirsty 
ones to drink, while the innkeeper related the story of the capture. 


Vikings have steered their high-prowed flat-bottomed 'prames,' for such 
were the vessels on which the adventurous Northmen — holding life lightly 
— invaded England. Here just beyond Wistow is the Garman-carr — the 
Ga-maen : Maen, a boundary — that the Celt and Dane and all others had to 
respect, the limiting line made for Athelston's Liberty of Cawood, Wistow 
and Otley. To the rear is the black fen and Boggart Brigg, where Peg Fife 
skinned a man alive, so the natives still say. The Black Fen is the fountain 
and origin of the bad fiend — Will-o'-the-wisp — and all that is evil, and the 
Elf Holes, from whence the elves come tripping lightly in the moonlight, 
the fount of light and gladness. Thoroughly Celtic in its garmaen, its 
goblins, boggarts, elf holes, and spark haggs, and the curious, old-world 
incidents of man-skinning done at the boundary of the Liberty. 

The maypole is said to have been a bequest of the fairies, and here the 
little buxom lasses, sighing anxiously for their loves, were wont to dance a 
ringhey or reel. Fiends and fairies were deeply interwoven in the minds of 
the people hereabouts. The scenery among which a child has been reared 
has a great effect in moulding his after character. Here, cradled and 
brought-up amongst the fens, it became identified with his everyday life. 
Seated by the peat fire on a winter's night, when the wind moaned and 
shrieked mysteriously, he heard the oral tradition repeated from sire to 
son. And so the belief in fiends, ghosts, and fairies became deeply identi- 
fied with the penal tradition of the people. Wistow is still a place of old- 
world stories^ fancies, habits, and appearances.* 

* It was at Scalm Park, in the parish of Wistow, where William Storr, farmer, dwelt 
in the early years of the eighteenth century. He was a man of quick intelligence for his 
station in life, and from the journal he kept we find a great fund of information respecting 
Wistow and the surrounding district, two hundred years ago. The following are two items 
—of ' Highwayes ' he says : " When my father came to Scalme the roadway to Cawood and 
Wistow was thorow the woods and out at a gate at the garth side of the new hagg for Cawood, 
and to Wistow out at a gate near the farr end of Mosker Hagg, and so was for twenty years 
after, but the woods growing so great we was forst to take down Mosker Hagg, being the 
way to Selby." He also tells us of 'Floods'— "There hath been severall great floods, but 
one is remarkable because it hapened in summer. It began to rain the 13th of July and 
continued till Wednesday at noon, and the flood was at its height at Wistow on Setterday 
at noon. It swam load pikes of hay in the ballings, and I lost there and in the Common 
lugs fifty load of hay, and the weather was so hott after it that dust flew in the roads very 
sore, and it did rott the gras upon the ground with the heat of the sun, soe that it was a very 
loathsome smell to feell all over the lordship, and there was abundance of hay and corn lost 
in the lordship, and the ground would not keep above half the stock the next year, I mean 
on low grounds, and because the gras was so rotted away it caused abundance of the Ings to 
be plowed which never was before. I lost with that flood near upon £100. It was in the 
year 1706 that the sumer flood hapned at Wistow." Descendants of the Storrs still dwell in 
the district.— Yorkshire Archaeological Society's Journal. 



There is no mention of a church at Wistow in the ' Domesday ' survey. 
The structure is early thirteenth century foundation ; the tower, a conspicu- 
ous object seen above the roofs and orchard trees. It has been thoroughly 
restored with great skill and care. Within the chancel lies the effigy of a 
lady and two smaller figures, supposed to represent her children ; the epitaph 
referring to the above is in Norman French ; translated it reads, " You who 


pass this way, pray for the soul of Dame Margery ; Margery who lies here, 
for you may Jesus cry mercy." There is a curious memorial — ' the End of All ' 
— in the north wall, a skull supporting an hour-glass, and underneath is a 
coat-of-arms ; there are a few incised slabs, bearing every sign of antiquity, and 
several other features of interest. Wheater says that in 1474 there stood in 



the churchyard of Wistow, but not attached to the church, a chapel called St. 
Hilda's Chapel, and the Bishop's report states that it was in a dilapidated 
condition, although the Prebendary of Wistow ought to have kept it in a 
proper state of repair. The principal image, they state, had been withdrawn 
from the church, and that they have neglected the very ancient custom of 
strewing the church w T ith straw. This little chapel of St. Hilda may have 
been a very old foundation, and its dedication to the great Scandinavian 
Saint speaks strongly as to the origin of the inhabitants of Wistow.* 

Away to the west is Olive House and Olive Bush, These points of the 
once dark and drear fenland seem to tell of the Norseman Olaf, the St. Olaf, 
and the long train of dark days and drear nights of ague-racked agony to be 
endured for generations before the swamp-covered land became the paradise 

of cultivation it now is, and 
the terrors of olden times be- 
came mere sounding names. 
Just beyond the sleepy 
village is Boggart Bridge, 
and some two miles away 
over the low-lying meadow 
and root-land, the chief 
feature in the landscape 
etched forth is the tower of 
Selby Abbey, architectur- 
ally a church producing a 
wondrous charm, and in- 
evitably impressing the 
mind of the traveller, who 
gazes on it, with its superb 
west front and massive 
early Gothic work. Around 
this monastery the little 
market town of Selby has 
gradually arisen. A few words must suffice for description. The spirit of the 
beautiful is instinct in everything here. The massiveness and dignified gran- 
deur of the Norman, Gothic, and Transitional nave, the enriched character 
of the decorated choir, contrasting with the heavy Norman work; the 
pleasing variety of the triforium and clerestory, and the exquisite, pointed 

* The four parcels of land within the manor of Wistow are :— Horniugtou Hagg, Pile 
Hagg, Westall Hagg, Paulden Hagg. Statute measure, 976 acres : I : 9. 




and graceful early English — blend architectural styles into pleasing har- 
mony. Even the chequered gleam and shadow on the pavement is sublimely 
beautiful within this M solemn temple." We glance at the Jesse window, 
with its wondrous story, gem-like in colour and luminous conception ; let us 
tread softly the pavement worn by the " noiseless foot" of sandalled monks, 
lest we awaken their long sleep, as we silently contemplate the ornate beauty 
and massive grandeur, the graven stones and monuments, stored with un- 
dying thought, appealing to all who really love and venerate their country's 
shrines — and Selby Abbey is indeed truly one of the most magnificent and 

The Missionary Benedict, whose coming to England in the ' Conquest' 

era led to the foundation 
of this Abbey of Selby, has 
left a fine word-picture 
of this sylvan scene. Per- 
ambulating the district 
which included the first 
possessions of Selby and 
speaking with the fresh- 
ness of the actual land- 
scape before his view, he 
describes it as " a most 
pleasant place, covered as 
well with frequent groves 
as crowned with an ample 
tidal river, like an earthly 
paradise. Situated on 
the bank of the Ouse at 
the southern quarter of 
the city of York and (as 
to Selby) only some ten 
miles distant from it, the 
intervening windings of 
the river are covered on 
every side with woods 
and groves, which 
provide much beauty in 
a pleasant place ; among 
these many big groves, 

rG. F. Jones. 



excellent in quality, properly lie near and belong to this domain. In 
the profits of the water, this vicinity furnishes much ; the lakes and dams 
abounding in fishes." How delightful to have the lines of such a picture 
fixed by a poet's eye ! Its charm in the vista, he adds, including his own 
home. " In the meantime, a monastery as fair as notable, sits in its 
revered mass. ..... The tower of the church, far off from those walking, 

can be seen on the public roads from every part, and with it the roofs of the 
offices arising beside it as in steps, appear and are pointed out ; and also 
whatever is brought to York by ships from parts beyond the seas, or carried 
away from it to other parts of England, is wont to pass before the gates of 
the monastery of Selby," just as they must pass before the tower of the Arch- 
bishop's palace at Cawood. More than eight hundred years have passed 
since that description was penned, yet it can still be applied, word for word, 
to the district then referred to. Somnolence is one of the grand features of 
the Ouse and lower Wharfe; its aspect, its serenity, its landscape, are the 
enduring marks of self-sufficient existence. What is, was, and, let us hope, 
will henceforth continue to be. 

We are wandering over historic ground, and by a river rendered famous 
in the Sagas of old. Here is Wistow L,ordship : the large number of 
shapely-dressed stones from the Huddleston quarries prove the place to be 
of ancient foundation ; Monks L,ane, an old-time way, passing through the 
Haggs to Wistow, tells of a time when the spiritual brethren were pre- 
dominant in this district. Yonder to the east, just beyond the banks 
of the Onse, the substantial tower of Riccall Church rises high and square 
above the roofs of the lowly village, blending finely with the rich green 
frondage of elm and ash, in which it is embowered. This wide stretch of 
lowland is remarkable for its noble temples, whose grand towers, romantic 
and beautiful, rise out of the landscape like island-peaks in the ocean ; but 
it is not of the church we would speak, nor the ornate beauty and noble 
grandeur of its Norman-Gothic entrance portal, with its four ranges of 
moulding springing from shafts with capitals ornamented with grotesque 
figures ; and with its wondrous symbolism of Christianity triumphing over 

Riccall -the Richehal, Ric-hael — the hall of government, is a place of 
unmistakable antiquity. It was here in the Ouse that Hardrada, the 

* I11 Riccall churchyard still flourishes a mulberry tree, nigli three hundred 3'ears old, 
its planting marking an order made by King James I. — faddist in many things, unpractical 
and before his time in others— his idea being to encourage the propagation of silkworms 
and the manufacture of silk by such means. 



renowned king of Norway, moored his five hundred ships which had borne 
his vast army of Norsemen from the wilds of Scandinavia and the Orkneys 
to the conquest of England. A beck enters the Onse between Wheel Hall 
— (wheel is often used in connection with Yorkshire rivers, meaning an 
expansion or backwater) — and Riccall, and, from its wide river vale aspect, 
has formerly been an arm of the Ouse, deep and wide enough at the flow 
of tide for vessels of small draught to enter, and in this indent, the natives 

[Valentine &* Son' 


(the very descendants of the Danes) tell us— the 'Deanes'— Norsemen, moored 
their war keels. From thence they marched overland through the great 
forest of Ouse and Derwent to York. The Saxon army of defenders met 
the invaders at Fulford and thus barred their entry into the city, and there, 
says one writer, where the smooth green turf now covers the ings with its 
delicious sward, Saxons and Danes faced each other in mortal strife ; but 
at nightfall the famous banner, the land ravager of the Norsemen, floated 


triumphant over the field of battle. Marching on to York the victors took 
possession of it, but hearing that Harold was advancing to the rescue, they 
retreated, choosing their position on the Derwent at Stamford Bridge, 
where on the 25th of September, 1066, Harold, on whose prowess rested 
Saxon England, came in sight of the invading hosts of Scandinavia. The 
contest was fierce and terrible, both sides doing deeds of undoubted valour : 
around the bridge long raged the keenest fury of the battle. A giant Swede* 
for some time defended it with the power of his single arm, but was at length 
slain by a spear thrust from beneath the bridge. The old wooden bridge 
stood a little higher up the river than the present structure, its former 
position can still be determined. After performing prodigies of valour, 
the Norwegian king and Tosti were slain, with thousands of their army. 

Many memorials of this famous battle have been found : swords, battle- 
axes, pikes and other armour. The remains of a half-circular trench joining 
on to the river at both extremities shows the entrenched position the 
Norsemen occupied west of the river at the onset of the battle. Danes 
Garth and Danes Well, battle flats and evident signs of earthworks on the 
east side of the river, are all suggestive of this great struggle. And again 
on the west bank, by Chapel or Chantry Field, is a raised earthwork, sixty 
yards long by eight or nine feet high, and said by the villagers to be a 
burying place of the slain from the battlefield.! Stamford Bridge is a spot 

* This giant Norwegian — the northern Horatius— who defended the bridge, was one 
of the warriors who had accompanied Harold Sigurd to the Greek capital on the Mediter- 
ranean coast, and had shared in all his great Eastern victories by sea and land, and his 
mighty sword had helped to carve a path through the infidel host to the walls of Jerusalem, 
where he had worshipped before the Holy Sepulchre, and afterwards washed in the waters 
of Jordan. The old wooden bridge which he so long defended was standing until near 
the middle of the eighteenth century. 

t Previous to the battle, King Harold sent an envoy and twenty horsemen, both men 
and horses completelj- mailed, to try and win over his brother, and so split up the invaders. 
Coming into the presence of Tosti, the spokesman said : " Harold, thy brother, sends thee 
greeting, and the promise of peace, also that thou shalt have the whole of Northumbria; 
and rather than thou shouldst become his enemy, he will share the third part of the king- 
dom with thee." "And what," answered Tosti, "if I accept this offer, will be given to 
Harold Hardrada ? " The trooper replied : " He has, indeed, said what he would grant him 
of England's soil, seven feet space, but as men say he is a giant he shall have eight." Then 
replied Tosti, "Go and tell your king to prepare to fight, for no man shall ever say that 
Tosti, son of Godwin, broke faith with Harold, son of Sigurd, and joined the ranks of his 
foes." Both sides prepared for combat, the invaders being composed of adventurers from 
many nations and climes; but the troops mainly to be relied on were the warriors the giant 
king had often led to victor)-, he being the greatest warrior of his age. Mounted on a 
magnificent black charger, his gigantic figure enveloped in armour of burnished steel, 


where the antiquary will love to linger. The village, with its clustered 
roofs, is not uninteresting : the Derwent flowing in the foreground, and 
away in the background are the white chalk roads winding across the brow 
of the Wold Hills. But we are diverging from our subject, let us return 
over the many miles which intervene between Stamford and Riccall. 
The fighting and chase continued, numbers were drowned in the Derwent 
and Ouse. The Saxon chronicle says that " The English from behind 
hotly smote them until they came to their ships, some were drowned 
and others also burned, and thus in divers ways they perished, so that few 
were left to carry back to Norway the dismal story."* In this hour of victory 
Harold graciously allowed the remnant of the army to return on condition 
they would for ever observe peace and friendship to this land. Thus of a 
fleet of five hundred prames bearing a mighty host of warriors who proudly 
entered the Humber a few days previous ( burning with high hope,' only 
twenty-four ships were needed to take back the survivors. Deep was the 
sorrow and loud the wailing amongst the Norsemen for the loss of their 
brave king and the destruction of his army. Even the flapping sails and 
creaking of masts sounded like a funeral dirge, as the few vessels crept 
slowly and mournfully down the Ouse and out of the Humber, and thence 
homeward across the wild North Sea, to spread the dismal story of evil 
omen and death. For generations after, the sad story was told by fathers to 
sons, of that fearful fight and carnage at Stamford, where the blood of a 
kindred race, Angle and Norse, changed the clear waters of the old Ouse 
and Derwent to crimson. 

Here on the banks of the Ouse and lower Wharfe we are in Danes- 
land. The Danes never rested until the North-Humber country was 

* While the immense fleet was in preparation, many vague previsions of gloom per- 
vaded the Viking host. i{ One man dreamed that the fleet had sailed, that he saw flocks of 
crows and vultures perched on the masts and sails, and that a witch-wife, seated on an 
island, holding a drawn sword in her hand, cried out to the birds : ' Go, and go without fear ; 
ye shall have plenty to eat, for I go with you.' Another man dreamt that he saw his com- 
rades landed in England, that they were in presence of an English army, and that a woman 
of gigantic stature rode on a wolf, to which she gave human bodies, which it held in its jaws 
and devoured one after another. Hardrada dreamed that he saw his brother, St. Olaf, and 
that the warrior-saint warned him, in vague words, that the expedition would terminate in 

picture him ! with his grizzly warriors, the sea kings, around him, and the famous standard, 
" The Ivand Ravager," floating o'er them. Towering above his army he sang his famous war 
.song, telling of great victories won by the Norsemen ; and as he sang of the mighty deeds 
of Rolla and chiefs of old, the blood mantled his cheeks, and ere he had ended his battle-song 
the wild enthusiasm of the Norsemen was beyond control. 




conquered. The ship was the Norseman's pride; up the riverways they 
sailed, fought, plundered and settled along the banks, as the range of place- 
names yet testify, and to-day the Norse element in this district is predomi- 
nant. To these wild sea rovers we, to a great extent, owe our love of 
liberty. The admixture of Norse blood still flows strong in our veins, their 
language in our speech. 

In our journey to Ryther let us follow the bank of the sinuous Ouse, 
with its rich undergrowth and umbrageous foliage, past slumberous Kellneld 

and all that remains of 
its former castellated and 
moated manor-house. It 
would be as well to men- 
tion in passing along the 
bank of the Ouse that 
curious phenomena, the 
eagre or sea tempest : the 
tidal inrush of water up 
the estuaries. The high- 
est, and consequently the 
most dangerous, is that 
nearest to the new moon, 
to autumnal or vernal 
equinox. At neap, low 
tide, the inflow of water 
can only be slightly mark- 
ed. On the level stretch 
of river, between C a wood 
and Kellneld, the whole 
body of springtide water 
sweeps in one large wave, 
followed by a succession 
of smaller ones, and 
meeting the descending 
river rises like a wall of 
water to the height of six 
or seven feet, and travels upwards at the rate of seven to eight miles an 
hour. Boats and keels are, at times, washed from their moorings, and per- 
sons fishing peaceably by the river are often caught unawares and immersed 

[E. Bogg. 



up to the middle by the rapid influx of water — hence the shout of warning 
when the wave is seen swiftly approaching. At Cawood the men call out : ' War 
aigre — war (ware) oot, it's coming, look out ! ' whilst the lads playing by the 
river shout on its approach, ' War oot for t' worly aigre ' (whirling, from the 
succession of waves). The word is pronounced variously, as 'eygre,' 'eagre,' 
and 'eager,' Anglo-Saxon ' eagor,' 'egor' — the sea water. We can easily 
understand the feeling of awe the sight of this body of moving water, 
surging up the estuaries of certain rivers would have on the minds of the 
half-wild men from the land of Scania ; and we can also understand how 
this spirit of the water and sea-giant of old became the Mgir or Sea God of 
the Norsemen, and that strange, unaccountable feeling of awe and mystery 
(we might say worship), which it produced lingered in the minds of the 
people dwelling by the banks of the Ouse and Trent far into the years of 
the last century. At Cawood we cross by the bridge to the south side of 
the river and turn in to the old 'Commercial' for refreshments, an excellent 
inn, typical of old days. We rest in the ingle nook, have a pleasant chat 
with the landlord on bygone times and things ; then leaving Cawood, with 
thoughts of its past history still in mind, we take the road to Ryther, 
through the flat lands, to some perhaps monotonous, yet affording fine 
views of a lowland river winding deep under overhanging willows. In 
the middle distance a red brick or whitewashed farm stands out to relieve 
the miles of flatness. In the far distance a tower or spire and tapering 
poplars, with the roofs of Fenton and other villages, complete the scene. 

Hereabouts in the loose sandy subsoil the mole, which is often of a 
creamy colour, proves very troublesome to the farmers. Under the molehill 
are three chambers, the bottom-most being the home or nest, the upper 
chambers are generally stocked w T ith headless worms, a provision of the 
sagacious mole against a rainy day. This maiming of the worm does not 
destroy life, but deprives it of the power to creep away, hence the mole 
generally retains in its larder a fresh supply of live food. We are told by 
an authority that the mole lives almost wholly upon the red earthworm 
of the fields. It has been seen to refuse to touch hard-skinned creatures 
like the beetle or armoured wood louse, although the softer-skinned grub 
or maggot of flies is devoured when chance allows. As we have observed, 
the mole's ' fortress ' consists of an upper gallery and a chamber, or ' keep,' 
in which it ordinarily lives when at rest. There is a third and larger 
chamber, which is placed where two runs meet at some little distance 
from the ' fortress.' Here the mother mole rears her young. The upper 



excavation, or top chamber, from its domed, tunnel-like character, if not 
intended for the purpose, is nevertheless a sort of trap for worms, which, 
wriggling their way as is their habit through the soil, and bringing up 
fine earth to the surface by night, or after rain, tend to break through 
and congregate in the gallery, balling themselves, as is also their habit, as 
one by one they happen to strike. Once in the smooth-walled receptacle, 
they cannot escape except by the ' run ' of the mole. Such as do follow the 
line of the least resistance are almost sure to make a meal for the blind 
burrow er. The old mole- catcher here is quite a character and familiar 
figure in his well-worn velvet coat. The damp and fogs of the fenland 
have, however, marked him for a victim, for he rather jocularly told how 
" Yance ah went weel eneaf ah twa sticks (legs), but noo ah ev te hev foure." 




( d\ I ANDERING along, we soon obtain a glimpse, nestling amongst 
V5cA» trees in the meadows, of Ryther's ancient church, in whose 
peaceful aisles rest mailed knight, crusader, and nun, their em- 
bellished tombs telling of warfare in the battlefield, or the more saintly fight 
of the just. Ryther, now a secluded and very uneventful village, was a place 
of some importance in "the days when the earth was young," and Tubal 
Cain was a man of might. We do not suppose Tubal dwelt at Ryther, 
nor does he belong to this story. The place-name is perhaps a disguise of 
the Celtic word "Rhayader," a cataract or waterfall, and suggestive of 
this are the two streams which fall into the Wharfe from either bank 
opposite the village. But the more probable derivation is from the Norse 
"Riodr," a settlement in a forest-clearance; and a few remains of the old 
oak forest of the Percys may be seen over the river. The earliest associa- 
tions of the place are with long settlement and its consequent stability. 
Its church of pre-Conquest foundation and dedicated to "All Hallows" 
was the only one between the Wharfe and Brayton. The antiquity of its 
territorial family cannot be estimated from the effects of the Norman con- 
quest. Their heraldic badge, three crescents, is said to be a mark of dis- 
tinguished conduct, won during the Crusades. The place is doubtless of 
Norse origin, and here the Viking fleet, in armour glittering with barbaric 
embellishments, the Raven Standard fluttering in the breeze, have often 
passed up and down by the riverway. The place-names from the mouth 
of the Wharfe to Hubberholm in its upper reaches, bear out the story of the 
supremacy of the Dane in this river vale. 

The church stands on slightly rising ground some two hundred paces 
from the river ; opposite, on the northern bank, stands Nunappleton. Just 
to the west of the church are fragments of a well-defined moat, enclosing 
the site of the former castle of the Rythers, and parallel with the moat on 



the west is a fen dyke — " the Fleet," which on reaching the precincts of 
the village expands into a wide-flowing estuary. The road to Cawood 
skirts this expansion of water for some little distance. The water-mark on 
the line of posts, erected to guide people at flood-time and on the dark nights 
of winter, gives the village quite a Dutch aspect and adds a distinctive 
charm and character to the place. The homes of the cotters are all to 
the west of the beck hollow > which cuts the connection between the church, 
Hallgarth and the village. A high raised causeway, the stones laid so as 
to shed water readily, gave sole access to the church, and is another quaint 
feature of interest telling its own story, and a strange eventful one too, 

Tomm fcrtH&n Church 


reaching over the centuries ; of the happy bride led to the altar, or grief- 
stricken mourners bearing all that is mortal of friend or kin to the tomb, in 
days and at times when such passage was not without its moving incidents 
by flood and field. 

Ryther Church. 
Architecturally a treasured shrine of historic remains, the delightful 
simplicity observed within the interior harmonizing quaintly with the charm 
of its surroundings. Here the most unimpressionable cannot fail to be 
arrested by the venerable form and the prevailing antiquity, as it were, 
blending tradition and romantic story, and themes sufficient to rouse the 



least fertile imagination into active interest. It consists of entrance porch, 
nave, south aisle, and chancel; the solid simplicity of the chancel arch, 
devoid of ornament, shows the rude character of the semi-barbarous early 
Gothic work. The first Danish or Saxon church, possibly erected not later 
than the ninth century, has been a very lowly edifice, including chancel and 
about half the length of the present nave. The chancel arch and two rude 
round-headed windows built in the north wall are relics of the early struc- 
ture. The growth of the church is very apparent : the lengthening of the 
early English nave, and the after addition of the early-decorative south 
aisle, which required the introduction of the hagioscope in the old arch, so 
arranged that the Ryther family, seated in this aisle, could witness the 
Elevation of the Host ; also the difference in character of the two piscinas : 
the one in the north or original^wall — Norman; the other in the south 
wall — early decorated.- Built into the outside walls are fragments of an 
earlier church, specimens of diaper work, and other antique features illus- 
trative of the growth of 
this church and the 
reason of its varied 
styles of architecture. 

It is very rarely one 
finds such a display of 
tombs and effigies of 
warriors and ladies as 
are to be seen here, 
reaching the entire 
length of the south 
aisle ; and although 
much of their history 
is forgotten, maybe 
they still rest on from 
century to century. How 
hushed and solemn is 
the hallowed spot as we 
linger by these monuments of the dead, shafts of glimmering sunlight 
gilding the effigies with an almost ethereal radiance ! The first is a fine 
tomb of fine alabaster, on which reposes the sculptured figure of a knight 
in plate mail ; a helmet, minus the crest, is on his head, and a hound lies at 
his feet. The collar round the neck represents the ' sun in splendour '—a 

//Vt*>-/c>- rjj- ~?ythe>-.Cfiu>-<ii. 




badge for distinguished conduct given by Edward IV. At each end of the 
tomb are arcaded canopies, in which are the figures of three knights in 
armour and three ladies ; on the side are four spaces with canopied 
enrichments containing four knights and four ladies. There are various 
suggestions as to whom this tomb may commemorate : I think it is the 
Dean of York, the Rev. A. P. Purey-Cust, who weaves quite a romance 
around it. It. most probably represents a knight of the Ryther family, 
slain at Towton fight; it is, indeed, a chaste and stately monument, and 

IE. Bogg. 

goes far to prove the importance of the Ryther family in " the brave days 
of old." The next tomb of Portland marble, decorated with tracery 
and bunches of grapes, is fine in detail and finish ; around the edge of 
the cover have been inserted ribbons of metals and also shields, enamelled 
in heraldic colours, but which have been ruthlessly removed by the hands 
of the despoiler : this is supposed to be the tomb of Sir Ralph de Ryther. 
Resting on the floor, near an ogee arch in the church wall, is the figure 
of a lady in the costume worn during the latter part of the thirteenth 
century ; her hands, resting on her breast, clasp a heart, which she seems 


to be in the act of presenting to the church. At the extreme end of the 
aisle is the time-worn effigy of a Crusader in chain armour ; by the side 
of the warrior rests his lady, wearing a wimple, her hands clasped in the 
attitude of prayer — 

" Full seemly her wimple y'pinched was." 

A William de Ridre, whom the effigy is supposed to represent, was 
a celebrated warrior in the time of Edward I. ; he manfully assisted that 
monarch in the Crusades and Scotch Wars. The hardship and cost of these 
long campaigns seem to have brought the family into rather straitened 
circumstances, for, in 1308, Sir William de Ridre, Knight, acknowledges 
that he owes one William, a clerk, forty shillings, which, in default of pay- 
ment, may be levied on his goods and chattels. The poem on the siege of 
Caerlaverock says — 

"William de Ridre was there, 
Who a blue banner did bear, 
The crescents of gold so radiant." 

John de Ridre, his son, was also a great favourite with Edward II. 
He was the king's constable of Skipton Castle during the great raid of the 
Scots under Randolph and the " Doughty Douglas," and he seems to have 
continued his active military career; in 13 21 he was constable of Corfe 
Castle, a royal appointment of value, and a year or two later we still find 
him constable of the castle and honour of Skipton, and also keeper of 
Purbeck Chase.* 

John de Rithre's services were equally accepted by Edward III. on the 
16th July, 1327, in an order to Thomas Deyvill to deliver to John de Rithre 
the issues received by him from the manor of Scarthecroft during the time 
when he had the custody thereof, as the manor was taken into the king's hands 
by reason of the quarrel of Thomas, late Earl of Lancaster ; and not to 
meddle further with the said manor, which was held of John by Robert de 
Rithre, deceased. On 5th July, 1327, is an order to the exchequer to cause 
Matilda, late wife of Robert de Rithre, to whom the king committed the 
custody of two parts of Robert's lands, in his hands by reason of the heir's 
minority, of the extent of the manor of Scarthecroft, charging her with 
the extent of the manor of Rithre, the escheator being ordered not to inter- 
meddle further with the manor of Scarthecroft, and to restore the issues 
thereof, retaining in the king's hands the manor of Rithre, because it was 

* The change of d to th, and the converse, is a common one in vulgar folk-speech ; so 
in this case, if the place-name has a Norse derivation, the present-day spelling is the least 


found by inquisition taken by the escheator that Robert held at his death 
the manor of Rithre of the king as of the honour of Pontefract, and that he 
held the manor of Scarthecroft of John de Rithre by the service of a quarter 
of a knight's fee, and that William, son of the said Robert, is his next heir, 
aged twelve years.* 

There are other features worthy of notice. The window in the east 
end of the south aisle, interspersed with fragments of old glass, containing 
the arms of the Rythers ; noticeably the three crescents or, on a field azure 
with three cushions, argent and ermine, has an historic importance. On the 
floor of this aisle are inscribed stones and brasses to the memory of John 
Robinson, of Ryther, and his descendants. The five stone altar slabs and 
the Norman font are features to muse over. An inscribed stone within the 
chancel reads : " Here lies the body of Idonea de Gainsbro', prioress of Nun 
Appleton ; she died in 1334." In the fields near Bolton Percy a large tomb- 
stone of another prioress was some years ago found, at the time of its 
discovery serving as a cover for the head of a drain. It is now to be seen 
on the floor at the west end of Bolton Percy Church. Great credit is due 
to the architect and Rector for the skill and care exercised in the judicious 
restoration of this ancient fabric of Ryther. 

The family castle has long ago been dispersed ; fragments of the deep 
moat are still seen and the impress of the hall in the cultivated fields and 
gardens fully attest that the castle of the old knightly family who took their 
name from the village stood here. The field west of the church is to this 
day called "Hall Garth," or Castle Field. An aged man, near fourscore 
years, who pathetically said, " Ahm t' last o' me breed," still recalls how in 
his time the foundations of the castle were used as a quarry for the sur- 
rounding district until barely a stone remained to tell the story of former 
greatness. The meadow east of Hall Garth and north of the church is 
called Coney Garth, and in it great quantities of bones have been unearthed. 
Regarding the above name, Coney, there is a letter extant, in which a Sir 
William Ryther writes to a friend requesting him to send some coneys as 
he is making a coney garth to his hall at Rither. As an evidence of the 
antiquity and importance of this family, a Ryther of Ryther witnessed the 
foundation charter of Appleton Nunnery over the river in 1154. 

* April 3rd, 1361, Archbishop Thoresb}- paid Robert Ryther, Lord of Ryther, twenty 
pounds sterling, being the price of twenty four oaks bought of him for the use of restoring 
the cathedral. 



Sir William de Aldburgh, of Harewood, dying without issue, the castle 
and lands came into possession of his two sisters. Elizabeth married Sir 
Richard Redman, knight, of Westmorland ; Sybill, Sir William Ryther of 
Ryther ; and it is rather singular that these two families and their descend- 
ants inhabited Harewood Castle jointly for several generations; the last to 
reside there was a Sir Robert Ryther, towards the close of the fifteenth 
century, and he was interred in Ryther Church. A Sir William Ryther, 
born 1405, married Isabella, daughter of Sir William Gascoyne, of Gaw- 
thorpe, son of the renowned judge. 

The family of Ryther appear to have died out early in the eighteenth 
century. The present Earl of Harrowby is supposed to be the nearest 

In the matter of 
economy the 
Rythers do not 
appear to have 
been a prudent 
family, thus, 
gradually, they 
became dispos- 
sessed of their 
lands. Of this 
fact one Robert 
Ryther, of Belton, 
bears witness, for 
in his will proved 
May, 1696, he de- 
vised and settled 
his estates upon 
his sixth cousin 
— John Ryther of 
Scarcroft — upon 
fail tire of his 
own issue, and 
gives his reason for so doing — " To preserve the lands in our ancient family, 
which is now very inconsiderable in comparison of the great estates hereto- 
fore enjoyed in the counties of York, Lincoln, and elsewhere, by our 
extravagant ancestors." 

[E. Hogg, 



Space forbids further description of this interesting village. Passing the 
ferry and the fine curve in the river we reach Ozendyke, an old foundation, 
its name expressive of the situation : it is a small hamlet between Ryther 
and Ulleskelf. The wild hop clambering luxuriantly in the hedgerows is 
worthy of notice. Let us follow the bank of the river. The charm of such a 
walk is the perfect peace and solitude : we wander through a profusion of tall 
grass, wild flowers, and giant hemlock, the high banks winding in great 
curves like incoming waves, the river rolling slowly onward in its deep bed 
so solitary and silent, as if weary with its long journey : musing thus we 
reach Ulleskelf. The vulgar pronunciation — Uskell — appears more mean- 
ingful than the later refined name. 

When the early English work in York Minster was being executed, 
Uskell was the point where the stone was shipped. At that time the village 
was held by a family bearing the territorial name, who appear to have done 
no more to immortalize themselves than to give freely of their lands to the 
Hospital of St. Peter at York, a deed for which the generous donors 
have a right to receive full credit. There is an antiquity about the place 
reaching backward to Celtic days. Bronze and flint implements of warfare 
and fragments of ancient pottery have been unearthed hereabouts from 
time to time. The settlement, however, is chiefly due to Norsemen. 

The village does not present any particular attraction. The Hall, 
formerly the home of the Shillito family, who were lords of the manor, has, 
of late years, been often tenantless ; consequently, an air of fallen dignity 
clings around it. For the first word-photograph of this somnolently luxuri- 
ant place we have to trust to the invaluable John Iceland, his report being 
very acceptable : — " From Towton to Uskelf village, about a mile, where is 
a goodly house longing to a Prebend in York, and a goodly orchard, with 
ornamental walks. The ground about Uskelf is somewhat low and 
meadowish, as toward the fall of waters about Nunappleton. The parish 
of Ryder is but a mile from Uskelf. From Uskelf to Tadcaster three miles 
by good corn and pasture ground and some wood." Those who are not 
used to walking will consider John Inland's miles very long ones. This 
village possesses two inns, where the fishermen who resort here from Leeds 
and other towns find suitable refreshment. 

Instead of taking the very inviting road to Grimston, with its leafy 
avenue and the undulating lands in front, well wooded with fine trees, from 
which peep mansion, church, and tower, the other path might be taken 
leading across the fields, by the side of the river. From these meadows, 



The village is seen 

in the eventide, Ulleskelf makes a charming picture, 
through the intervening orchards, with the smoke rising, as it were, from 
amongst the trees ; all jarring contrasts of colour being softened into rest 
and harmony. After a mile's walk by the side of the river Grimston church 
will be noticed ; as seen from the bank it is indeed a most [pleasant picture 
for the eye to rest upon. 


Standing on this spot when the sun had drooped below the western 
sky, and just before night spread her mantle over the light, the beauty of 
the scene was beyond description ; some two miles away in the distance the 
ancient town of Tadcaster appeared like a fairy city in the after-glow. The 
waters of the Wharfe seem dreary as they near the end of their journey, 
flowing on sluggishly and melancholy; but on this night even the 



river shone resplendent from luminous light in the evening sky. Turning 
from the river, we look across the meadows, where no sound is to be heard 
save that of sleek cattle cropping the dewy grass. We see the old church 
tower, with the small but pretty village of Kirkby in front ; behind, on the 
gently undulating lands, is the noble park of Grimston, where gigantic 
trees fling their shade over many a grassy dell. Above the park on this 
night spread a rift of purple cloud, along whose edge, and westward, trailed 
a rippling fleece of vapour, the beautiful harmony of whose colour required 
the brush of a Turner to delineate. Against this background, church tower, 

graceful poplar, and the more spreading 
tree, stood out clear and distinct, every 
leaf, twig, and branch showing out their 
wondrous grace and beauty of form. 



The distinction belonging to Grimston and Kirkby Wharf e, including 
Ulleskelf and Ryther, is that they are about the only settlements south of 
the Wharfe made by Norsemen. Grim, the founder, whose name means 
" the man with the helmet," was, no doubt, a warrior of the usual pro- 
clivities — taking all he could get hold of. The old hall, where the Viking 
brood of this ancient rover found shelter, was the predecessor of the one burnt 
down in the lifetime of William Grimston, who was born in 1640 ; the 



latter being succeeded by another on a more eligible site. The original 
mansion was moated and of timber, no doubt. Although Grimston House 
is a worthy mansion, and has been the seat of nobility and the resting-place 
of kings, it is by no means a representative of mansional dignity. The 
charm of the place is sylvan, its dignity is derived from the early English 
church. The mediaeval features of Kirkby Wharfe have been somewhat 
neglected, although they are of high interest. The manor belonged to the 
family of Ryther of Ryther and Scarcroft, from whom it descended to the 
Ashes, and, during the reign of Elizabeth, was purchased by the Plumptons 
of Plumpton. 

The church is a rectory belonging to the Prebend of Wetwang, who 

pays an annual pension of five marks 
of silver to the Vicar. The vicarage 
being of the patronage of the Preben- 
dary is endowed only with the whole 
altarage of the place and of the tithes 
of the curtilages therein,, in the name 
of the vicarage. In 1 561-2 an aug- 
mentation of £20 yearly was made to 
the vicarage out of the fruits of the 
prebend of Wetwang. The first 
fruits of the vicarage in the King's 
Books, 1525, are £\ 16s. 8d., tenths, 
9s. 8d. 


The surroundings of the church 
standing just within the boundary 
of the park are extremely beautiful. 
A picturesque village green, magnifi- 
cent groves of trees, antique farm buildings, lovely gardens, lawn, and 
sweet lush meadows all around. The interior has undergone judicious 
restoration and it possesses many evidences of undoubted antiquity. There 
are a few specimens of old glass, Dutch school, sixteenth century, and 
very curious. The Eondesborough Chapel contains a sculptured panel 
(subject, " Adoration of the Magi"), fifteenth century marble. The 
carved work of the screen is modern and is a good example of the florid 
Flemish renaissance style. Some of the modern glass, especially the east, 
windows are very poor indeed. There are two fonts — the Norman and one of 
recent date. Apart from the old font, the most interesting remains are 



[E. Bog?. 


fragments of two very curious crosses found under the floor of the church, 

on which are carved rude representations of our 
first parents. Art was only in its infancy, or just 
awakening from long slumber, when these stones 
were fashioned ; they also point to the fact that a 
church has stood on this spot since British times. 
The country around was at that date one vast forest. 
In the meadows near, enormous trees have been 
laid bare several feet below the surface when 
draining, pointing to a former lower level of the land. 
The name, Old Street, which led hither from Tad- 
caster, suggests a Roman occupation of this place. 
The churchyard contains small stone coffins 
and a tomb cover emblazoned with crest and arms. 
Grimston House, on the rising ground to the 
west, was formerly one of the seats of Lord Londes- 
borough, previous to which it was a residence 
of Lord Howden : now the home of J. Fielden, 
Esq. Half a mile from the mansion brings us into 
the London highway, the great coaching road of 

the first half of the eighteenth century. A few hundred yards away, in the 

vale below, the little river Cock winds its way through willow garths and 

joins the Wharfe near Grimston Grange.* 

* The Testamentary Burials are especially instructive, especially that recording the devotion to the ancient faith 
of this family of Leedes, of North Milford (a small hamlet adjoining Kirkby WharfeJ. In it we have a picture of the 
great change too rare and striking to be passed over with unheeding lightness:— 

27th April, 1540, Christopher Cattail, vicar of Kirkby-super-Wharf, made his will, whereby he commended 
his soul to God Almighty, the Virgin Mary, and all saints in heaven, and gave his body to be buried in the 
quire of the p.c. of K. 

23rd September, 1459, Nicholas Leedes, parson in the Cathedral Church of York, made his will, 
proved 21st December, 1459,'and bequeathed his soul, ut supra, and his body to be buried in the quire of the p.c. of K. 

3rd May, 1546, Thomas Leedes, of N. Milford, gent., made his will, proved 5th March, 1546, giving 
his soul, ut supra, and his body to be buried in the high quire of the p.c. 

18th April, 1602, Thomas Leedes, of N. Milford, Esq., made his will, proved 6th July, 1602, whereby 
he commended his soul to God Almighty, his Creator and Redeemer, to V. Mary and all Saints, and gave his 
body to be buried in the p.c. of K., within the queare where hi* brother Leedes lyeth buried. Reserving out 
of his lands in Pocklethorp and NafTerton the yearly rent of £3 6s. 8d. unto the Catholic prisoners which shall 
remain from time to time in the Castle of York, for the Catholic faith and for their conscience ; and if it shall 
please God to restore the Catholic service to His church as it was in King Henry 8th's days, and in the last 
four years of Queen Mary, then his will is that the said rent shall be divided between two honest Catholic 
priests for ever, the one to celebrate divine service in the p.c. of Kirkby-upon-Wharf, and the other in the p.c. 
of Kepaxe, and that they may for ever pray for the souls of Anne, his late wife, of his father and of his 
mother, John Brandesky and Robert Henneage. 

7th March, 1678, George Stanhope, of K.W., gent., made his will, proved whereby he bequeathed 

his soul to God Almighty, his Creator, hoping in Jesus Xt. his Redeemer for salvation, and his body to be 
buried in the p.c. of K.W., near his deceased ancestors. 

2nd March, 1477, Thomas Grenehill, vicar of Kirkby-super-'vVharfe, dying intestate, administration of 
his goods granted to Robert Hawley, gent., of Ruston parish. 

The Wild Flowers of Elaete 

By F. Arnold Lees, m.r.c.s. 

HE " Flora," as the various kinds in the aggregate 
are called, of Elmete is neither meagre nor without 
instruction and interest, even for the non-botanist. 
Because all plants depend somewhat for their variety 
upon the sort of soil they grow in, those of Elmete 
are mainly of one type — limestone-likers, technically 
calcicoles; owing, of course, to the fact that the 
area of the district, in the main the shallow river 
basin of the Cock beck, is one with underlying 
magnesian limestone strata, obscured only here and 
there by what is known as glacial drift — the mingled stone, gravel, and 
clayey detritus which the ice-age left as a legacy to the arid stony slopes its 
glaciers overpassed in their slow, grinding course, south-by-east, down the 
vale of York to the Humber sea. This geologic fact it is which makes the 
wild flowers of ' the little kingdom ' of one kind or type. Limestone flowers 
are not the less but the more interesting on that account to the wanderer in 
search of them. For example take the glossy gamboge-coloured goldilocks 
— an early buttercup of the copses and hedge-bottoms, not of the meads ; it 
is very common, and as pretty as variable in hue of bloom and cutting 
of leaf, all over Elmete ; yet in walking north-east from Leeds, say, or north 
from Castleford, or south-west from York, this goldilocks would not be seen 



shaking out its yellow tresses until the lime tract of Elmete had been set 
foot upon near Roundhay limehills, or Eedstone, or Towt on-field. So 
even a common wayside flower has an added charm from restriction and 

Keeping our ' marches ' in mind, the bounds within which we may best 
set the floral gems of Elmete are those eternal and unvarying ones of season. 
In Spring, Summer, Autumn, and ay ! even Winter, there is something 
characteristic, vegetally, in Elmete ; that is, something not found in the 
same salience elsewhere in the serpentine stripe of Wharf eland, which, be it 
known, is nearly five hundred square miles in extent. 

To begin with Winter, the season of rest and recuperation, but in which 
much hidden growth is being made, and next year's leaves are in process of 
formation within the scales of the buds of many and many a twig. Often, ere 
February impends, its ' fair maid ' the snowdrop will flake (or fleck) with 
pure but living snow the glades of beechwood and elm holt from Grimston 
and Hazelwood to Aberford and Eedsham ; divergent rainbows of green leaf- 
blade — promise of brighter glories in the same places later on — to right and 
left of its slender flower stem. With Lent will come the wild daffodil in 
many a coppice and spinney. But long ere then the orange and rose-pink 
fruit of the spindletree, "that in our winter woodland looks a flower," as 
Tennyson, with the poet's eye, put it, will have gone the same way as the 
crimson yew berries of Oglethorpe, and the black bunches of privet grapes, 
and the glassy red mezereon and Wayfaring-Gueldre bush fruit ; that is to say, 
down bird's throats, and so into the leaf mould below the bare twig perch, 
in good time to germinate, and, unnoticed, but surely for all that, as moons 
wax and wane, as seasons come and go, renew the verdure, reproduce the 
leafing, flowering, fruiting item that makes the bosky woodland and the 
hedgerow what each veritably is — ' a thing of beauty, and a joy for ever.' 
Does anybody object that berries are not wild flowers, it were good to remind 
them that the ' flower,' although oftentimes much the least showy, always 
precedes the fruit, and that what excites our admiration, for its shape or 
colour, is also often the least essential part of the blossom. Holly trees and, 
one season in three, holly berries are not wanting in the hedges of Elmete 
to give force of character to that marly bank or that hanging wood, in 
shade from May to October, but neither the Holly, nor the Whin dedicated to 
the kiss because one or other of its species is in fashion for bloom nigh all 
the year round ; nor the opulent Broom — none of these, though occurring 
here and there in coverts, are either so fine or so comparatively plentiful as in 


other sandier or more grit-stony parts of Wharfeland beyond the boundaries 
of what may be, in the Irish sense, loosely termed ' the barony ' of Blmete. 

In spring, when it merges into summer almost, is Elmete's natural 
" Floralia," its revel of form and tint of faery. Then is it that lily o' the 
valley carpets the beech groves of Becca by Aberford. Then, when sky and 
earth have ceased to meet at the feast of bluebells where some spinney slopes 
steeply to the stream of Cock, the chequered snake's-head fritillary will 
modestly, with hanging head, obtrude itself among the parkland at Hazel- 
wood. Grimstone's demesne will reveal the purple martagon lily in its 
sylvan shades ; and, most beautiful of all, in many a wood from Micklefield 
at one extreme to Bramham at the other, the stately ' dovetower,' or columbine 
in variety of colour from pale lavender to deepest purple-shot blue, will be 
found displaying at the summit of its softly green and downy shafts a coronal 
of perching culvers. Later on yet a little, and "high-taper," the flannel-leaved 
mullein, will, in the same or stonier spots, such as are afforded by the 
numerous long-since- worked quarries ; now overgrown with treillage of 
travellers' joy and bryony vine the "mandrake" of the herborists; uprear 
its wands of chrome flowers. In shady groves, in fifty spots, careful search 
among the dog's mercury covering the ground with its grey-green palmy 
plumes, will reveal the herb Paris or true lover's knot, most singular of wild 
flowers, and in its colours, a clear grass green almost unique. Picture four 
green leaves topping a bare stem, over this a green cross, superimposed and 
alternating with the arms of which is another green cross ; the last two sets 
being narrow, for they are the flower envelopes, not leaves although green ; 
within these crosses, at the hub of the spoked wheel as it were, eight stamens 
(male organs) cruciately alternate with the spokes, and are yellow-green 
likewise ; the centre of all is what looks like a pointed green button, the 
ovary, which in early autumn, when the green rosette has almost faded, 
becomes a blue-bloomed berry. Not unpretty, this Herb of equal parts {par, 
parts is the Latin for it) is a most singular one, and, more singular still, the 
cross of true leaves, normally four, is occasionally made up of three, tri- 
angularly set; sometimes, again, there are Jive leaves; not very rarely six; 
quite rarely seven : so does it set botanic Adams at defiance, and try to belie 
its name ! Possibly true-lover's Knots can be tied in a variety of ways also. 

The other two green flowers of Elmete are the tiny moschatel of leaf- 
mouldy hedge-bottoms, an inconspicuous spring wilding; and the green 
hellebore with fan-fingered glossy leaves and a pallid green-buttercup blossom, 
which flourishes in the garth-fence by Kidhall, and has been known there 


since Blackstone peregrinated about 1746. It, too, grows at 'Beck-ha' 
banks, Aberford, again above the famous and fatal rivulet of Cock. Not 
broad but swiftly running, at times between steep banks, at Towton ford it 
accounted for the lives and deaths of many brave men. 

As summer comes up the flowers of Elmete keep pace with it, and in 
bewildering variety of beauty prank alike its highways and byways. First 
there are the roses, white of York, excessively spiny, forming impassable 
thickets in places, a low branching bush with profuse creamy blossoms, never 
a tinge of L,ancasterian red on their velvety petals — a rose whose motto might 
well have been that of its County-men : " Touch me not " (Nemo me impune 
lacessit). It is abundant at Towton, although also found in many other 
parts : it is no calcifuge as is the foxglove (quite a rare flower in Elmete), for 
it will grow and spread on seashore sand, but it clearly has a preference for 
the dry soil that mostly prevails above limestone rock. Still, in Elmete, the 
downy red rose of Lancaster (scientifically Rosa tomentosd) is not unfrequent, 
with the paler open-blowing and pink-flushed dog-rose, and all three 
sorts grow on Towton Field ; but the folk-lore conception that the mingled 
blood of the combatants is typified in the mingled hues of the rose-bloom is, 
of course, botanically a fable. The rustic clock of midsummer day is the 
Elder or burtree blossom. In Elmete, as elsewhere, a little before the wood- 
bine and after the roses most years, its heavy-scented blossom, small individually 
but large in mass, begins to set ghostly pale-faces in their frames of hedgerow 
verdure towards dusk of the days between the 21st and 24th of June. Then 
summer has well come, and it is not long before the green black-briony berries 
begin to turn red, and their halberd or heart-shaped leaves a coppery bronzy 
purple. The great Bindweed, likewise, now ramps over the sloe hedges, and 
sets its silver trumpets of blossom at intervals, spirally, up its leaf- wreathed 
arms. A week later and the great Throatwort has rung its watchet to white 
bells in a mute carillon in the damper woods and hedgebanks from Parling- 
ton to Bramham. The waysides are gay now with the bedstraws, the ' great 
white ' and the ' ladies' yellow,' massed and contrasting finely with the rose- 
purple basil, the madder marjoram, and last but not least that handsome 
ditch-bank flower the Fleabane, whose cottony crinkled leaves, and gold- 
disked, yellow-hair fringed flowers are said, on the ' principle of signatures,' 
exploded herborist fancy, to be the sovereign preventive against one insect 
torment at least. This flower of Elmete is not everywhere, but is particu- 
larly common about Barwick, and on the ancient ' way ' from Wendel Hill 
to Kidhall. One rare flowering plant of Kippax Park must here have 


mention because it grows nowhere else in Blmete. This is the baneberry 
(Activa spicata), a neat fresh green cut-leaf bush, with pyramids of pretty 
white bloom, not unlike the Sptnra of home-pot fame and the late spring 
flower-market. It is plentiful in places by the shady foot-road from Kippax 
to Allerton. 

Then, again, the singular Bee orchis grows near the beacon in Ledstone 
Park, and at Bramham and Huddlestone, and is properly a guest of full 
summer, with the great white butterfly orchis : the botanic eye, however, is 
needed to detect the vegetable mimic among the bent. The Twayblade, too, 
so often miscalled the green-man orchis from the shape and stem-stringing 
of its amber marionettes, is both curious and not rare. 

Comes Autumn, and what flowers are there? They are none so numerous, 
yet some are of striking mien. First in point of time there are two orchises : 
the bastard Helleborine, with broad ribbed leaves and dull purple and amber 
spikes of flowers, that grows in clumps or singly in the semi-wooded quarries 
that long ago yielded the building stone for York Minster, and many another 
storied edifice; and the lowly Chesterfield-spired ladies'-tresses Orchis, which, 
with its spirally-twisted plait of blossoms, each set on the stem at a different 
angle, lives to reward sharp eyes in the open quarries and stonier pastures of 
Barwick's Tower Hill itself. There is also the orange-flowered gentian or 
Yellow-wort, affecting similar bare broken ground, and even more com- 
monly the bitter Felwort or autumnal gentian with lavender to purple tubes 
of blossom. Though not conspicuous this item in the flower sum of the 
year, coming to hand when all colours but yellows are on the wane, is neat 
and acceptable enough. And there is yet another flower-face of distinct 
physiognomy : almost without warning in the close-cropped pastures about 
Aberford, Barwick, and Parlington, and perhaps in other fields of the 
1 barony ' as well, we seem (to the initiate) to be back or to have leapt for- 
ward to spring and crocus time ! There, jutting from the damp turf, is the 
naked-flowering Colchicum, its oval crocus-like bloom of clear pale puce on 
a soft silvery stem without a leaf-blade to guard it from the shivery equi- 
noctial winds ! Its leaves are produced in spring, its flowers now ; and it 
comes from the mould a surprise, first and last, like the armed men that 
grew from Jason's teeth, as mythology tells, a real yearly reminder of Tow- 
ton fight, for it grows on the classic field ; and, to keep up the similitude, 
though it shows bravely at an inclement time above ground, yet keeps its 
reproductive receptacle subterraneously, and perfects its seeds safe and snug 
away from the killing influence of cold ! 



In very late autumn, last of the year's proper blooms, more or less over 
all Elmete there is the ' mantling ivy,' Dickens' favourite flower, and another 
green one, so valued from the decorative aspect ; the heavy tods of which, 
crowning some ruin of dead wood or stone, are begemmed with globular 
honeyed thyrsi, dear indeed to starved hybernating mothdom, that, fire-eyed, 
crowd to the feast on shiny opaline nights of October, when, as disembodied 
spirits are supposed to do, for a brief space, they ' revisit the glimpses of 
the moon.' 

The Ainsty of York. 


i . 

*TT* DISTRICT framed in by the rivers Nidd, Wharfe, and Ouse. Its 

^Jt— L* ontbounds to the west stretch within two miles or so of Wetherby, 
to the neck of land where the two rivers, Wharfe and Nidd, approach 
to within four miles of each other. From thence by the east bank of the river 
Wharfe, past Tadcaster to its confluence with the Ouse, and thence following 
the latter river on its west bank, northwards past the old city to the meeting 
of the Ouse and Nidd. Now bending west and following the south bank of 

the Nidd to Wilstrop and Tock- 
with, and across the Rudgate 
past Bickerton, and so uorth of 
Walton and Thorparch, our start- 
ing place. This includes the 
whole of the Ainsty, its circum- 
ference being about thirty-two 

Camden supposes its name, 
Ainsty, is derived from the Ger- 
man anstossen—a. bound or against. 
' Other writers from Ancientcy — ■ 
its antiquity; Drake, from the 
old word anent— opposite or 
contiguous ; others from Hean — 
Stige — high pathway ; Isaac 
Taylor, from Ain — one, ^—en- 
closure, a place set apart. In 
a peep of tadcaster church from the our opinion the derivation of the 
ainsty. word comes from a different 

source. The low-lying and formerly swampy lands of the Ainsty 


are divided (or cut into two portions) by a range of hills — flanks of the 
Pennines, whose dwindling offshoots, on which Bilbrough is situated, 
extend their roots to the walls of York. The district from the banks of 
the Aire to the Ouse was in Anglo-Danish time a wild, trackless forest 
region— fenland and swamp — through which, the Norman chronicler says, 
ran a path so narrow that it could only be penetrated in single file. During 
William's journey north in 1068, a knight named Lois-de-Montiers, having 
with him a chosen escort, was sent forward from the main army on a recon- 
naissance. It was the rainy season, and he found the country most in- 
hospitable and desolate (this condition is easily accounted for by the havoc 
of war and the death-roll of the husbandmen in battle during the preceding 
three years). At length, having crossed the river, his journey became even 
more difficult and dangerous. He and his escort had to traverse marshes 
and penetrate forests by a path so narrow that it would not permit of two 
riding abreast. The Norse word ' Ana — Ein-stigi — stee ' (yan-stee), mean- 
ing one path, and a narrow, difficult one, that would not admit of two 
persons riding abreast. In this manner they reached the environs of York. 
Doubtless the Norman historian, in his description of this ride, refers to the 
region lying between the Aire and Ouse, and from the secret exploration of 
this simple knight, L,ois-de-Montiers, and the difficulty he found in travers- 
ing the almost wild waste- in the speech then current, the ' Ana — Ein-stigi ' 
— a stee (one path), which has been modified during the centuries— we 
probably arrive at the true definition of the word Ainsty. 

Six hundred years had intervened between the departure of the Romans 
and the march of the Norman army north to York, and all through the 
centuries this district had been more or less steeped in the anarchy of war. 
Can we wonder then, that which the Romans had left a fruitful garden should 
have become a wilderness, wild and desolate, and the good road which the 
Romans formed had fallen into such a crumbled state of disrepair and ruin, 
that in many cases it could not even be traced ? Here, perhaps, it would be 
well to cite Iceland's remarks anent another part of the Ainsty, which have 
some bearing on our previous remarks on this district. " The great cause- 
way from Skip Bridge towards York hath nineteen bridges on it for avoid - 
ing and overpassing cars coming out of the moors thereby. One Blakeburn, 
that was twice Mayor of York, made this causeway, and another one without 
the suburbs of York." * 

* This Blakburu hath a solemn yearly service in the Minster, and a chantry at Rich- 
mond. He had very unthrifty children, wherefore he made eight chantries at York. 



For a century and a half after this very noticeable ride of the Norman 
knight, the Ainsty was mainly morass and forest, and even to-day if nature had 
her course the district would soon revert to its original condition of dense 
scrub and forest. It was deforested by a charter of Richard I., in favour of 

the Abbot of St. 
Mary's, York, 
and the men of 
the Ainsty, the 
King receiving 
£19 os. 1 id. for 
the concession. 
It was afterwards 
found that Rich- 
ard's charter was 
not el astic 
enough, for in 
the first year of 
John's reign, the 
Abbot and the 
men of Heinisti 
gave this king 
further moneys 
and three pal- 
freys, that all the 
men of the 
whole Wapentake of the Heinisti may be quit of all forestage. 

During the reign of Edward I., the Mayor and bailiffs of the city were 
summoned to answer the King by what right they held the Wapentake of 
Ainsty. It was then found that the charter of John's was invalid, and 
they lost their cause. In 1448-9, Henry VI. annexed it by charter to the 
county of the city, which Charles I. confirmed, and so it remained wholly 
under the jurisdiction of the Lord Mayor and those members of the Cor- 
poration who are by charter magistrates of the city. The citizens have 
asserted their right to this district on several occasions by attending the 
Kings of England in their journeys north or south, to and from the middle 
of Tadcaster bridge, the centre of this bridge being the utmost bounds of 
their liberty on the West. King James I., journeying south for kingdom 
and crown, left York on the third day of his stay, passed out of the city by 

\E. Bogg 



Micklegate towards Grimston (the house of Sir Edward Stanhope), where 
he stayed overnight. His Majesty was accompanied by the Earl of Cum- 
berland bearing the sword, and the Lord Mayor the mace. At the utmost 
parts of the Liberties of the city (the middle of Tadcaster bridge), the sword 
was handed back to the Mayor by the Earl ; then the Mayor alighted from 
his horse and, kneeling, took his leave of the King, and the King, pulling 
off his glove, took the Mayor by the hand and gave him thanks. His 
Majesty then rode towards Grimston attended by the Sheriffs. 

If we consider agriculture as the basis of worth, the Ainsty is not by 
any means the least important part of Wharfedale. Unlike the upper dale 
endowed with strong lineaments marked on the rock where the snowflake 
reposes, the Ainsty is more suggestive of smiling ease and plenty ; " a garden 
of roses," says one writer. The western part is diversified and broken by 
gently rising hills and little dells, the soil is of rich cultivation. To the east, 
between the Wharfe and Ouse, it is almost flat, which might, with justice, 
be termed the fat lands, abounding in excellent pasture. If not wildly 
picturesque, yet from the hill ground of the Ainsty beautiful landscapes, 
fruitful of corn and grass, recede over the vale of York to the Humber 
on the one side and to the Hambletons on the other. In its sylvan 
touches, its meadows, woods, hedgerows and homesteads, it cannot be 

We will commence our wanderings in Ainsty on the south, the land 
lying between the old Roman causeway and the Wharfe. Passing Oxton 
and Steeton Grange we reach Steeton, one of the original homes of the 
earlier Fairfaxes. Situated some three miles east of Tadcaster and less 
than a mile from the York road is Steeton Hall, now a farmhouse. In the 
Norman time the place was called Stiveton, and previous to it passing to 
the Fairfaxes it was held by a family of the above name. A William 
Wilks de Stiveton gave to the nunnery at Appleton one oxgang of land 
here, with half a toft and croft. 

This embattled residence was built by Sir Guy Fairfax during 
the Wars of the Roses. He married Isabella Ryther, of Ryther, grand- 
daughter of Chief Justice Gascoigne. Sir Guy and Isabella were 
grandparents to Sir William, of romantic marriage fame, from which 
union sprang those terrible Fairfaxes—' Fighting Tom,' etc., of whom the 
aged peasants relate such wonderful tales. What a strange story might 
be written concerning the career of those early Fairfaxes ! Even the wooing 
and home-coming of their brides, daughters of the surrounding magnates, 


would in itself form a fine subject. The grandson of the founder of Steeton 
waxed so rich in lands and chattels that on his death two Fairfax families 
sprang into existence. His eldest son received Denton and Nunappleton, 
besides property in York. Gabriel, the younger, inherited Steeton and 
Bilbrough. Sir William was carried to the grave by fourteen poor men in 
black gowns, lighted by fourteen torches. He sleeps by the side of his dear 
wife Isabella, in the choir of Bolton Percy Church, 

With other relics, the old chapel, which stood on the east front of the 
house and consecrated by Archbishop Rotheram, 1473, is entirely swept 
away; the ground it occupied is now a garden. The old house has been much 
altered, it formerly consisted of a centre and two wings, the centre alone 
remains. Just inside the hall is a stone table, which belonged to the earlier 
Fairfaxes. Portions of the moat and walls remain, and the original gateway 
to the chapel. On the east window of the chapel were emblazoned the 
arms of the " Percy and kucy, Beaumont, Neville, Hastings, Scrope, Ryther, 
Manners, Aske, Fitzwilliam, Hungate, and Fairfax."* Underneath these 
arms was the figure of Sir Nicholas Fairfax, the peerless knight, attired in 
complete armour, with a long black gown descending from his shoulders 
to the ground and embroidered with the cross of his order, in his right 
hand a spear, his left rests on a shield. The writer was told that several 
skeletons have been found near the house : probably the chapel had a grave- 
yard attached, or otherwise the place must have been the scene of some 
skirmish. The house was enlarged in 1595, and their coat of arms, carved 
in stone, was placed over the doorway. When the family removed to 
Newton Kyme, this stone was brought also, and built into the wall above 
the hall door ; and I think the same stone has been removed to Bil- 
brough, and until the old hall was demolished at the latter place in 1901 
was there to be seen in front of the mansion, the residence of Guy Fairfax, 
Esq.f It is now situated in the wall of the south front of the new Hall, 
which so charmingly overlooks the Fairfax country. 

Steeton in Domesday : — " In Stivetun one carucate, in this land there 
may be one plough." 

* Sir William Fayrfax writing from Steton to Cromwell, 22nd January, 1537, gives a 
very doleful account of clerical government in his district. The houses of religion not sup- 
pressed make friends and "wag" the poor to stick hard to the old order of things, and the 
monks who were suppressed inhabit the villages round their houses and daily "wag" the 
people to put them in again. 

t See Clement Markham's History of the Fairfaxes. 



Colton, half a mile to the east, possesses no distinctive feature. It 
stands on slightly rising ground above the low-lying Haggs. In the 
meadows east of the village there is a moated site. At the west end, 
situated among trees, is a rather picturesque hall. In the reign of Henry 
VII., Henry Oughtred, of Kexby, in consideration of the right good counsel 
to him, given by William Fairfax, did, for the pleasure of the said William, 
grant to him and his heirs free liberty and license to hunt and hawk in the 
manor and town of Colton, with license to fish and fowl therein, for this 
privilege rendering one red rose at Midsummer only. Verily these Fairfaxes 
seem to have had an abundance of good things. 

In our path to Bolton Percy, we pass on the last spur of the wolds of 
the Ainsty Brumber Grange, a farmhouse on a very noticeable site, and 

Hornington Manor more to 
the south. Both places are 
of very ancient foundation. 
In the terminal "ber" in 
Brumber Grange and Brum- 
ber Field we have the 
unchanged Norse word, which 
signifies a farmstead . Horning- 
ton is of Anglian foundation, 
and is mentioned in Domes- 
day. In the heyday of their 
prosperity it belonged to the 
Rythers of Ryther. 

On the south-west corner 
of Ainsty, intersected by cul- 
vert and dyke, which discharge 
the waters into Catterton Foss 
Drain, a stream rising in the 
land just to the north of Heal- 
augh, thence crosses under 
the York road at Bow Bridge, 
passes Hornington, hereabouts 
shaded by willow garth and 
osier holt, enters the Wharfe 
near Bolton Percy. 
Bolton Percy is an Anglian foundation, a botl, the word meaning an 
edifice of superior construction. This place has not only length of days, as 

[/?. Bog-?. 



its history, but also great ecclesiastical dignity. It would be known and, no 
doubt, used by the Romans when they held their camp at High and Low 
" Ac-ceaster." In the Norman survey, Bodeltun is returned under two 
entries, both as of the land of William-de-Perci. But there appears to have 
been much dispute about the division of land hereabouts, for the men of the 
Ainsty affirm they have known William Malet to have been possessed of 
much of the land in Ainsty, and the men attached to the land considered 
themselves as his vassals. For instance, fifteen oxgangs in Horninctum 
(Hornington) were held by William-de-Percy, but which the men of the 
Wapentake declare that " Malet" ought to have. This William Malet held 
the Shrievalty in 1069, at the time York was burnt by the Danes. So even then 
Bolton was a suitable residence for the Sheriff of Yorkshire. The dispute 
did not end with the above claim, but seemed to have waxed stronger, for 
Osbern-de- Arches also affirms that his ancestor, Gilbert d'Aufay, held some 
portions of this princely domain, to wit, land in Apeltune, Stivetun, Horn- 
ington, Oxeton-Coleton, and Torp, &c. 

Gilbert d'Aufay was a near relative of the Conqueror, who held him in 
great favour, bestowing on him princely estates of the conquered people. 
But his mind seems to have been adverse to this kind of annexation, and 
he disliked the acceptance of land which by right belonged to another. So 
strong was his determination on this point, and so unalterable his will, that 
he returned to Normandy without keeping in his possession a single acre of 
English soil. But that which Gilbert renounced, Osbern-de-Archis, a 
younger kinsman, seems to have gladly accepted, choosing for his seat 
Thorp, which, by the addition of his name, " D'Archis," in due time became 
known as Thorparch. 

The names of some of the owners of land dwelling in this part of the 
Ainsty in the pre-Conquest era are very interesting. For instance, Ulchil 
— Archel, son of Ulstan, Godwin, son of Edric, Ulf the Deacon, Ode, Alwin, 
Goisfred, and Susa. These men became vassals to the conquerors on their 
own land. 

One of the manors in the Bodeltun survey had been in the possession 
of Norman, who held some six hundred acres of plough land. Ample 
assurance of long and skilful cultivation, its value in King Edward's time 
had been 60s. When the Normans took possession, its value had fallen to 
15s., the result of the vengeance of an angry invader. 

At Bodeltun was a church and priest. A round the precincts of the church, 
however, there seems to have been comparative peace, and the value of the 


land only fell slightly. The record states : value in King Edward's time, 40s., 
now 30s. At its foundation it was one of the two churches in the Ainsty 
district. Its authority stretched from Acaster, the water-fort, to Healaugh, 
the holy district. We need not wonder, then, that to-day Bolton Percy 
church has almost the dignity of a Cathedral. Such dignity has always 
been the right of its existence, and may justly claim to be the evidence of 
its first foundation. Bolton Church was transferred to the Archbishop of 
York on the 28th of December, 1250 ; the desirability of the transfer was 
enhanced by the value of the living, then, as now, of great consideration. 

The present structure was erected by Thomas Parker, rector of the 
parish, from his institution, 26th of June, 141 1, to his death in 1423, as 
stated on a tombstone bearing an inscription to that effect, which stone has 
since perished : — 

" y)rafe pro lipomas ^arfce-r, quondam 
^icctoxe f)ujus eccl ac ejusoem fabricators." 

Neither skill nor money have been spared in the reconstruction. Unfor- 
tunately, the pious builder did not live to see the dedication of his work, 
which was performed by the Bishop of Dromore, July, 1424. The church is 
a magnificent perpendicular structure, with massive tower and pinnacled 
battlements. The exterior of this edifice is rich in architecture, and very 
interesting, the interior consisting of nave, side aisles, and large chancel. 
The nave is separated from its aisles on either side by four pointed arches 
resting on three slender octagonal pillars. The roof is of oak, and though of 
considerable span without the beams, it is a very good example of wood roofing. 
The stalls are of oak, and much marked, said to have been caused by 
Cromwell's soldiers sharpening their swords. On the south side of the 
chancel is a most perfect specimen of a " Sedilia " and piscina, of beautiful 
design and finish. The brasses from the sedilia and other parts of the church 
were removed by the rough hands of despoilers, tradition says during the 
Civil War, yet it is hardly credible that the Fairfaxes, who were preservers, 
would have allowed such sacrilege in the burial-place of their ancestors. 

The glory of the church is the beautifully restored east window, in 
which are preserved many fragments of rare old glass, containing the 
armorial bearings of ancient families. Two windows in the north aisle, 
facsimiles of ancient glass, and picturesque in treatment, are also worthy of 
inspection ; also the Jacobean pews, pulpit, miserere seats, Norman font 
and cover, and the noble chancel arch. 



Built in the walls of the south aisle by the entrance porch is the holy 
water basin, a receptacle for holy or hallowed water, a usage of the Romish 

Church. The 
holy water 
basin was not 
placed at the 
entrance to the 
church in early 
Saxon days, 
but dates from 
the periodwhen 
Rome gained 
complete ascen- 
dency over the 
Anglo - British 
Church. Many 
were the mira- 
cles supposed 
to be performed 
by the use of 
holy water, 
such as the 

\Cvtrn^p^ rC y 


curing of des- 
perate diseases, the driving away of demons, and the changing of human 
beings into animals, &c. 

A large stone at the west end of the nave is to the memory of Agnes- 
de-Ridre, a prioress of the Nunnery of Nunappleton. This stone was 
missing for many years, and when found was being used as a drain cover.* 

* " There appears to have been some disagreement or friction between Sir W. Fairfax 
and James Moyser, in 1597. Sir \V. Fairfax, the younger, then living at Nunappleton, came 
out of the quire (called St. Marie's, or Beckwith's) into the body of the church, and there, 
in very good and orderly manner, desired on behalf of Mr. James Moyser, the said Mr. 
Moyser not then and there denying it, that we (the parson, the churchwardens, and others 
of the chief of the parish) would advise and settle of some convenient place for the said Mr. 
Moyser and his company, wherein to sit and be in time for divine service and sermons. 
Whereupon the same afternoon, after evening prayers, it was agreed that the next Sabbath 
or Sunday, we should talk about it, that such of the parties as would, should there come and 
help forward the matter the best that they could, which was agreed to by the parson, all the 
churchwardens, and many other neighbours, nobody then speaking anything at all against 



Hung in the north wall, writ on parchment and framed, is a record 
which informs the reader that one James Moyser, of Appleton, left seventy 
shillings yearly to be paid to the above town, and he wished this act of his 
should be writ on parchment, framed and hung up in the church to remind 
his heirs that they should perform it. He died 21st of January, 1694. 

The bell chamber contains three very fine bells, known respectively as 
the Steeton, Colton, and Nunappleton bells. The tenor has an exceedingly 
beautiful tone, and was brought from St. Andrew's College, Nether Acaster. 

UV. G. Fosto 


The eastern extremity of the north aisle was anciently the Brockett's 
choir, but is generally known as the Steeton Chapel. The Brockett's choir 
still retains in its name the memory of a family who for generations were 
members of this church ; although the hall at Appleton where they resided 
has long since disappeared. Members of the famed Vavasour race have also 



worshipped at this shrine and rest within its portals. Their arms were 
formerly to be seen painted on the oak panelling of the pews. At the west 
end of the north aisle is the north or ' devil's door.' In olden time it was 
supposed that the evil one always took flight through this door when a child 
received baptism, hence ' Devil's door.' 

The stranger who knows the history of this place cannot but be im- 
pressed by the hallowed associations and stirring memories of its venerable 
sanctuary. It is an interesting study for the artist and antiquary. Here, 
musing in the twilight, dim figures of the past seem to flit before our inward 
vision, carrying the mind back to the days of old romance, for the place was 

frequented by the 
elite of the chival- 
ry of the north 
—the Percys, 
Vavasours and 
Beauinonts, the 
Lucys, Nevilles, 
Scropes, Rythers, 
Hungates, and 
Thwaites. To the 
Fairfaxes it is a 
hallowed shrine, 
the breezes sigh- 
i 11 g through 
branches are whis- 
pering memories 
of this notable 
family of warriors 
boi/ton pkrcy chukch, north-east. and statesmen. 

Hither they led 
their happy brides to the altar, and hither they were brought for burial. Tread 
where you may within the precincts of this church, you stand on or beside 
the grave of a Fairfax. Some are interred in the Steeton chapel, as the 
mural tablets testify. In their testamentary instructions, some ' will ' their 
bodies to be laid to rest in St. Nicholas' ' Ouere,' some in the body of the 
church, whilst others are satisfied to sleep in the churchyard, where the 
sunshine may play awhile on their graves, and the birds carol from the 
branches of trees overhead. Lord Ferdinand Fairfax, of Denton, wills to 



be buried in the body of the church near his wife. Here sleeps Sir Guy, 
the founder of Steeton ; here in St. Nicholas' ' Quere,' rests all that is 
mortal of Sir William : " He was borne to the tomb by fourteen poore 
men in black gowns, lighted by fourteen torches." What a memorable 
and striking scene this would present ! He sleeps beside his wife, the 
beautiful Isabella Thwaites, the heroine of the romantic marriage to be told 
in the following pages. Here also are buried another Sir William and his 
wife Mabel. Hither also was borne to the grave ' Frances,' the aged Lady 
Fairfax, who for 50 years had lived ■ Mistress of Steeton,' surviving her 

[Gilbert Foster. 


gallant husband (Sir William) for forty-eight years. He fell in the siege of 
Montgomery Castle. His troops were wavering. To retrieve the disaster, he 
dashed single-handed into the thick of the enemy, his good sword, flashing 
like Excalibur right and left, carving a path through the rank of hostile 
pikes. ' It was a deed,' says one, ' worthy of Arthur's fabled knights.' 
Spurred to desperation by the heroic conduct of their gallant chief, the men 
of Craven swept forward like an avalanche to victory. Never chieftain died 
more gloriously in battle than he. He fell literally pierced with mortal 
wounds. It was his lady who returned such a noble answer to the messages 



of condolence from his companions in arms : ' She grieved not that he died 
in the canse, but that he died so soon that he could not do more for it.' 
William, who died in 1694, was the last of the Fairfaxes of Steeton. He is 
also buried at Bolton. 

The church is situated amidst beautiful pastoral ; magnificent trees wave 
benediction of branches over half the churchyard. In the west retaining wall 
are several fine blocks of Huddleston stone, on which are good specimens of 
masons' marks. There were signatures clearly cut on the face of the hewn stone 
by which each craftsman's work could be identified. This practice of each mason 
marking his work was at its height in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, 
and grraduallv fe\\ [ n ^ disuse during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. 


In this and other walls adjoining are fragments of an earlier church. The 
rectory grounds are very picturesque with fine foliage, ivy and creepers 
trained over timbered corridors having all the charm of the loggia of Italian 
convents, and, with the quaint so-called tithe barn adjacent, forms a tout 
ensemble of unique beauty. 

The tithe barn is where a tenth of the produce of the land was stored 
for the benefit of the church. Even in the early days of the church, 



objections were raised to the paying of tithes. The laws of Ina, king of 
the West Saxons, which are the earliest known, were made for the assess- 
ment upon lands and houses for a provision of the church. Money being 
scarce, the payments were generally made in kind, grain, seed, cattle, poultry, 
hence the use of tithe 

„w ,'|*r. 

: ' '•''"/'' *'."f 'M>1\- ** 

barns. Defaulters were 
fined forty shillings and 
made to pay the tithes 

In the churchyard by 
the side of the south wall 
is a noticeable tombstone, 
inscribed with a long 
array of family names, 
beginning with William 
Houseman in the sixteenth 
century and continuing 
with his descendants 
down to the present cen- 
tury. Built in the east 
wall of the churchyard is 
a large boulder of Shap 
granite, no doubt trans- 
ported hither by the tre- 
mendous natural agencies 
of the Glacial period. 

There are a few vestiges 
of a fortified hall remain- 
ing at Bolton, although 
such a house did at one time — the name Hall Garth is sufficient evidence 
— exist. The most likely site is at the north-east end of the church, a 
situation encompassed by a moat without difficulty. 

* The returns for the Nona taxation, made about 1332, complete the evidence of retro- 
gression. The church of Bolton Percy is taxed at ,£40 ; the jurors say this is too much, as 
the nona or ninth of garbs, fleeces and lamb of the whole parish in that ) r ear is not worth 
more than ^30, the greatest murrain lasting that year among two-year-old sheep ; the tithe 
of hay is worth seven marks ; oblations and lenteu tithes eight marks. Rithre is taxed 
at ^20 and the jurors declare that, including a fifteenth of the 'goods of the trades,' the 
taxation is just. It appears from the above valuation there was not residing in Bolton 
Percy a single inhabitant, save those living by agriculture. 




The village still retains a few thatched and other primitive dwellings. 
A little stream flowing from the middle land of Ainsty ripples its way 
through orchards, willow beds, and gardens to the bosom of mother 
Wharfe. On spring days, when the orchards are in blossom, this village is 
a bower of beauty. Gentle swells and hollows, green lanes, fertile meadows, 
and old paths wind by quaint homesteads, garths, and enclosures, across a 
rustic bridge, up to the church and magnificent fan-armed elm (seen in our 
picture), with a quaint conventionality suggestive of the set Valentine of the 
early Victorian era. 

^'&%£->^; ^'~ 

r/i'" ^M» 

«» « ((/1 . ^*/,\jf£ 



Nun Appleton. 

V^/HE walk from Bolton to Nun Appleton is delightful meadow and 
\Oj woodland glade on either hand, the road leading through a fine avenue 
of oaks, a remainder of the Appleton Forest of old time belonging to 
the Percys. Here are some magnificent examples. In a recess by the road- 
side is I,ady Milner oak, a noble tree in its infancy before Angle, Dane, or 
Norman trod the Ainsty, in their invasion of the Celtic kingdom. The tree 
is hollow and upwards of forty feet in girth at the base, and it was for years 
used as a post office for Nun Appleton. The crook to which the letter bags 
were affixed still remains in the hollow of the tree. Another fine oak is 
in Sicklepit wood, its bole thirty feet round. 

Continuing our journey we enter the park and cross the Fleet, a stream 
better known as the Foss (the Roman Fossa) ; taking its rise in the vicinity 
of Knavesmire, it runs a fairly direct eight miles course south and enters 
the Wharfe a few yards west of Nun Appleton Hall. The land lying 
between the Foss and Ouse, bordered on the south by the Wharfe, was the 
Roman Valcester, the garden of the Imperial City, when the Emperors dwelt 
there ; this subject to be dealt with later. A stone built in the bridge which 
spans the Fleet bears the initials of Guido Fairfax. 

The foundation of Nun Appleton, 1 150-4, is due to a pious spirit which 
became manifest soon after the Conquest by the Normans. The piety and 
grandeur of soul displayed by Gilbert d'Aufay when he refused to accept 
the lands wrested from a conquered and enslaved people, seem to have been 
inherited by his race, for Agnes de Archis, daughter of Osbern, of the above 
name, a kinsman of Gilbert, founded the nunnery of Keelynge. She was 
successively the wife of three husbands, one of whom was Herbert St. 
Quintin ; their daughter Adeliza, or Alise St. Quintin, married Robert, son 
of Fulk Fitz-Reimfrid, a knight of the Percy Fee. Actuated by the inherited 



spirit of piety, Adeliza founded the nunnery of Appleton in the lifetime of her 
mother. Next to the honour and glory of bearing arms in the Crusades was 
the strong desire of the Norman to build churches and endow monasteries. 
The priory for Cistercian nuns was dedicated to St. Mary and St. James the 
Apostle. The site was not the most alluring that could have been selected. 
The land about it, on both sides of the river, was partly essarted, that is, 

[E. Bogg. 


ridded of trees, and partly not; but within boundaries then set out by 
Adeliza herself, three tenants, Hugh, Siward, and William (notable names), 
were displaced to make way for the nuns. It was undoubtedly a wet and 
forlorn station, though subject to only limited inundation ; but when that 
very high-born lady and her knightly son marked out the limits, naturally 
moated, as it were, by swamp, river, and foss, she gave her foundation all the 
prestige of her own high position and handed over an estate which should 
house her nuns in admitted power of place. 




From the birth to the dissolution of this Prioressory the nuns of Appletor 
were women of the most exalted rank and distinguished families ; still thei: 
social status, religious life and high estate do not appear to have made then 
armour-proof against the many sins to which flesh is heir, and there certainb 
appears to have been serious laxity in their morals to have called down upoi 

" Mai /{PPie^-d 

1 #***:<*{$!?. 


them such severe reproof from their Archbishop as they received ; it, however 
was largely ineffectual. Some of the nuns, the edict says, were apt to take more 
of strong drink than was good, so all were forbidden to frequent ale-houses 
Some were apt to loiter about the ferry, so they were all forbidden to frequenl 
the waterside, ' where the course of strangers daily resorte.'* Still further, 
no sister shall bring any man, religious or secular, into their chambers, or am 

* A visitor to Nun Appleton will probably marvel at this edict of the Archbishop, 
forbidding the nuns to frequent the waterside, 'where the course of strangers dail} 
resorte,' which evident^ means a spot where there was a continual coming and going 01 
people. To-day, the aspect suggests quite the contrary — we find no throng of people passing 
to and fro ; here peace reigns supreme ; one may linger b) T the river for hours without 
sight of a human figure. A few hundred paces higher up is the ferry at Ryther, and ever 
here we should imagine the boat does not average more than two passengers daily 
But during the Middle Ages and even down into the eighteenth century the ferry at Apple- 
ton was in great request. Traces of the road running through the fens to the feny and sc 
direct to York, are still in evidence ; and standing by this wayside for the refreshment ol 
travellers were the ale-houses referred to in the edict. For a distance of twelve miles 
between Tadcaster and Selby there was not a single bridge over the rivers; and to-day there 
is onby one, that at Cawood. So one can easily understand how greatly the central ferry 
would be used "by the daily course of strangers." The making of good turnpike roads 
during the eighteenth century and the building of the N.E. Railway through the fens in 
the nineteenth century has diverted the stream of traffic and completely changed the aspect 
of the old fen road, removing with it the stream of strangers by way of Appleton for ever. 


secret place, day or night. That the Prioress license none of the sisters ' to go 
pilgrimage or visit frende without great cause,' and then ' for to have with her 
one of the most sad and well disposed ' sisters, till she come home again. 
Monasticism appears to have wandered a trifle astray to cause the Archbishop 
to issue snch stringent orders. Their endowment at the foundation was 
good, but as they grew lax in spiritual fervour their fortunes also waned ; 
perhaps the nuns had become weary of the monotony of their existence and 
the continuous outlook over the dull river and the far reaches of the dismal 
fenland beyond. Possibly the nuns were not nearly so sinful as the old 
chronicler would have us believe. Anyway let charity be our watchword, 
remembering the words of Christ : " He that is without sin among you, let 
him cast the first stone." 

"A Nonne, a Prioresse, 
That of hire smiling was ful simple and coy, 
Hire gretest othe n'as but by Seint Loy ; 

Ful semely hire wimple ypinched was ; 
Hire nose tretis, 1 hire eyen grey as glas ; 
Hire mouth ful smale aud therto soft and red 
But sikerly she hadde a fayre forehed 

Ful fetise 2 was hire cloke, as it was ware. 
Of smale corall aboute hire arm she bare 
A peise 3 of bedes, gauded all with greue ; 
And theron heng a broche of gold ful shene, 
On whiche was first ywriteu a crouned A, 
And after, Amor vincit omnia."* 

—From Geoffrey Chaucer's Prologue to " Canterbury Tales" 
Lines 118-120, 151-154, 157-162 (Tyrwhitt's Text). 
Note : 1. —Long and well proportioned. 2.— Neat and tasteful. 3.— Peise, a weight of (Old French). 
4. — Love conquers all. 

Anxiously watching their progress during her lifetime, at her death Alise 
gave them, with her body, that carucate of land, which Richard of Newton, 
Roger Cote, Asegar, and Godefrid, son of Hugh, held of her. Sybul de 
Percy, her daughter, largely increased the endowment, and when she died 
was tenderly laid to rest in their church beside her mother.* 

* The Legend of Sister Hylda.— On the eve of St. Mark, 1281, the Lady Prioress 
of Appleton assembled the nuns and ihe monks from St. Mary's Abbey, at York, those from 
Acaster Selby, and the Archbishop from his castle at Cawood, to hold High Mass, the cause 
being to lay the haunting spirit of Sister Hylda to rest. For years a ghastly vision had 
hovered around the nunnery at Appleton, causing great alarm and terror to the people. On 
this night an awful storm swept over the place, the tempest howled, the lightnings glared, 
the thunders crashed, and rattled their levin bolts. In the midst of this whirling tempest, 
when " the holy Archbishop, in sacred stole, was before the altar, the veiled sisters of the 
Virgin Mary stood by the choir, and the monks were arranged beyond the fretted pillars of 
the chapel," there came a loud knocking at the convent gate. The porters admitted the 
Grey Palmer, whose coming had been foretold by the ghost of Sister Hylda. He told how 
he had wandered through terrible dangers by land aud sea, how he had fought in the Holy 


Of other distinguished patrons they had Robert de Percy and William 
Ryther, who gave them the church of Ryther ; William Percy, of Ottering- 
ham ; and lastly King John, who exempted the Prioress and convent from 
attendance at the County and Wapentake Courts, from the aids or payments 
of the High Sheriff and their servants ; and that they should not be im- 
pleaded for any of their demesnes except before the king or his chief justice. 
A prioress and thirteen or fourteen nuns were supported in this house, of 
which the revenues in 1534 amounted to ^73 9s. iod. The priory was sur- 
rendered December 5th, 1540, and in 1542 the King granted the site to 
Robert Darknal, to hold with the lands belonging by military service, at 
the annual rent of twenty-one shillings. After this the estate passed to the 
Fairfax family, and was merged in their more stirring history. 

Our first visit, about twelve years ago, to Nun Appleton, was by rivei 
from Cawood. Entering the mouth of the Wharfe and rowing up the river 
some distance, then mooring our boat, we passed through the woods to the 
mansion. Spring was in her first flush of freshness. Cowslip, primrose, 
and bluebell nestled under grass and broken branch ; old and gaunt trees 
(remnants of the old forest of the Percys), spread out their great arms across 
the path, the branches of one large elm reaching upwards of eighteen yards ; 
hundreds of rabbits, old and young, scudded away to their burrows at the 
sound of our footsteps ; nailed to the ' keepers' ' trees, as a warning to their kin, 
were scores of animals and birds of the flesh-eating race; through the branches 
glimpses of the Wharfe, rolling slowly onward as if weary with its long 
journey from its birth among the hills and mountains ; across the meadows, 
nestling among trees, peeped forth the modest tower of Ryther's ancient church. 

War against the Saracens, how he had crossed the burning sands and met the wild lords oi 
the deserts in shocks of steel, but never was his soul so appalled as by the rage of the 
elements that weary night, " and how in the forests, where the pelting hail blasts, the red 
flashes of lightning, and the rolling torrent of the Wharfe opposed his course, the spectre 
of Sister Hylda shrieked in his ear, 'Grey Palmer, thy bed of dark, chill, deep earth, and 
thy pillow of worms are prepared ; thy fleshless bride awaits to embrace thee.' " When the 
Palmer entered the sanctuary the seven candles which burned with perpetual blaze before 
the altar expired in blue hissing flashes. A gloomy light circled along the vaulted roof, and 
Sister Hylda, with her veil thrown back by her skeleton hand, stood pale, grim, and ghastly 
by the Palmer, who was recognised as Friar John. The holy sisters shrieked. The Arch- 
bishop, in horror, commanded the spectre to tell why she thus brake in upon them. Un- 
earthly groans issued from her colourless lips as, with fearful agitation, she thus spoke:— 
"In me behold Sister Hylda, dishonoured, ruined, murdered by Friar John. He stands by 
my side and bends his head lower and lower in confession of his guilt. I died uuconfessed, 
and for seven long years has my troubled and suffering spirit walked the earth, when all 
were hushed in peaceful sleep but such as the lost Hylda. Your masses have earned grace 
and pardon for me. I now go to my long rest." The roar of the elements suddenly ceased, 
soft strains of delicious music swelled in the air, and floated along the surface of the Wharfe, 
as though an angel sang; to the astonishment of the startled nuns a bright flame rekindled 
the holy tapers ; but Sister Hylda and the Palmer had vanished and were never seen more. 



Passing in front of the hall, which comprises a sample of three cen- 
turies, the east end being the oldest and most interesting, we admired the 
beautiful gardens and terrace ; the air is perfumed with the delicious fragrance 
of choice flowers, and many noble specimens of grand trees abound — 
the aged yew, slender poplar, spreading cedar, dark fir, Dutch elm, and 
graceful birch ; in the midst lies a silent little lake, like some gem, its waters 
reflecting in the sunlight the glorious tints which here abound. 

[ Vivian. 


Around its shores stand old arches and mullions, statues and columns 
and other relics, about which clings the ivy in close embrace, telling that 
here the nuns spent their time in communion and prayer. In imagination, 
the Nunnery stands before us, as of old ; through the interlaced windows we 
obtain uncertain glimpses of the sisters, and hear for certain— or is it a 
dream ?— the most delicious melody, as the various notes rise and swell into 
one universal chorus. Fancy, the fairy, flies!— the music is that of the 
woodland birds rejoicing in their paradise. The late master of this mansion 


loved wild birds and protected them by every possible means, so having 
found it a hospital, they now make the spot resound with songs of gratitude 
and praise. 

Apart from the associations of the convent, Nun Appleton is interesting 
from having been the home of Thomas Fairfax, the brave soldier and 
Parliamentary general, still called by the peasantry, ' Black Tom.' Here, at 
Nun Appleton, the happiest time of his life was spent. To this spot he 
brought his charming bride, a daughter of the house of Vere ; and here, 
unconscious of the great future before him, the brave general, the gallant 
knight, the soul of chivalry, spent his time attending to the estates, beautifying 
park and garden. A profound scholar, much time was spent in study ; this 
was no doubt the happiest portion of his life, and we can easily fancy in after 
years, when war's tempest and sorrow had to some extent obscured the 
light, his mind would revert to the happy days spent at Appleton, in the 
society of his wife and dear daughter Moll. 

In 1639, the storm burst, war being proclaimed by Charles against the 
Scotch, on their refusal to renounce the Covenant. Bishop Burnett, in the 
history of his own time, quaintly adds, " The Scots marched with a very 
sorry equipage, every soldier carried a week's provision of oatmeal, and they 
had a drove of cattle with them for food. They had also an invention of 
guns of white iron, and done about with leather, and chorded so that they 
would serve for two or three discharges. They were light and carried on 
horses, and when they came to Newbury, the English army that defended 
the ford were surprised with a discharge of artillery. Some thought it magic, 
and all were put in such disorder that the whole army did run with so great 
precipitation that Sir Thomas Fairfax, who had a command in it, did not 
stick to own that till he had crossed the Tees his legs trembled under him." 

Old Fairfax, of Denton, in a letter to young Tom while in the north, 
says, " Avoid private quarrels as much as you can, and show your valour. 
The first will but show your pride and bring you hatred. The second will 
give you honour and reputation." Sound advice, no doubt put into practice 
by the future general. 

For the part he took in this inglorious campaign, the honour of knight- 
hood was bestowed upon him. 

In May, 1642, the ominous clouds of civil strife, which had long been 
visible on the horizon, began to gather overhead. The King, in his head- 
strong folly, still continued to violate the law, and gradually drew around 
him the net whose meshes were only severed by the axe of the headsman. 


On June 3rd, Charles held a great meeting on Heworth Moor, York. 
In the middle of the day, attended by a large body of cavaliers, two regi- 
ments of horse, and eight hundred foot, he delivered a speech, which few 
conld hear amid the confused and discontented murmurs of the crowd. On 
this occasion, Sir Thomas Fairfax presented the petition drawn up by his 
party, anxious that the King should reconsider his actions and reconcile 
himself to the people. The cavaliers who divined Fairfax's intentions, tried 
to keep him at a distance, but not to be beaten, he managed to reach the 
King, and placed the petition so that he was obliged to receive it. It is said 
Charles rudely pressed his horse forward and Fairfax narrowly escaped being 
thrown down. 

When the storm burst in 1642, Sir Thomas Fairfax was chosen com- 
mander of the Yorkshire forces. Knowing every inch of the country and 
being quick to take advantage of opportunities, he many times surprised the 
enemy. His great courage and kindness to his troops, his generosity to 
friend and foe alike, well fitted him to be the leader in the great struggle for 
the preservation of the liberties of the land. From the Ainsty and the banks 
of the Wharfe the fighting men flocked to his standard, and from Craven 
and the manufacturing centres came large numbers to join the cause of 
freedom and justice. Some reverses in the first campaign only made him 
more resolute and confident ; he rose superior to all obstacles and went on 
to final victory. 

In 1650 Fairfax, having resigned his commission as commander-in-chief, 
settled at Nun Appleton. Here, surrounded by relations and friends, the 
victorious general spent most of his remaining years. Many a story can be 
recounted of his widespread fame, great generosity and hospitality. 

What an array of great men, in different spheres of life, visited Nun 
Appleton at this time ! Grizzly warriors, who had fought by Fairfax's side at 
Marston Moor, and saved his life when, unhorsed and wounded, he was in 
the greatest danger. Some there would be who were with him in the 
famous charge through the streets of Selby, which scattered the cavaliers 
like chaff. Some who had heard that great shout raised by the chivalry of 
England at the fight of Naseby, when the legions of the King and Prince 
Rupert were scattered and broken before the Commonwealth of England. 
Others there would be who fought on the fatal field of Chalgrove, when the 
great patriot Hampden received his mortal wound. Comrades also who, 
perhaps, saw the king so ungraciously receive his petition at York ; but five 
years after how changed was the scene, when the victorious general rode, 
with the king a prisoner at his side, into the old town of Nottingham ! 


We can easily imagine them recounting many a gallant fight, amongst 
others that in which the peerless knight, Sir William Fairfax, a worthy 
representative of Fra Nicholas, the valiant knight of Rhodes, who, after his 
troops were several times beaten back at Montgomery Castle, spurred his 
charger into the middle of the enemy, his sword flashing amidst a sea of foes ; 
and how, when the men of Wharfedale saw the danger of their gallant 
leader, with one great shout of rescue they threw themselves on the enemy, 
with a determination which meant victory or death. 

" Such ranks as those the knight of Steeton led, 
And with them fought, and with them bled, 
On many a desperate field." 

Andrew Marvell, the man * above price,' who, in after years, when member 
of Parliament for his native town of Hull, was proof against the bribery of 
the king's ministers, spent two years at Nun Appleton engaged as tutor to 
the general's daughter ; and here in 1657 came George Villiers, the hand- 
some and accomplished courtier and gay cavalier. 

Connected with Nun Appleton, during the early days of bluff King Hal, 
is a most romantic story of love and marriage. The hero and heroine of 
this drama were Sir William Fairfax, of Steeton, and beautiful Isabel 
Thwaites, orphan daughter of Thomas Thwaites, of Denton. On the death 
of her father she was placed under the care of the Abbess of Nun Appleton, 
whose sole ambition was to make her a sister of the nuns, and by so doing 
add her rich dower to the institution. She was allowed the freedom of 
riding out and visiting her friends in the vicinity. In one of the excursions 
she met Sir William, who was struck with her remarkable beauty and charm 
of conversation. Steeton being only some three and a half miles away the 
pair were often in each other's society, and Sir William soon loved the maiden, 
and the maiden smiled to know that she was loved, but the eloquent soul of 
passion soon betrayed the secret of their attachment to the Abbess, who was 
very wroth, and confined within the nunnery the sweet girl, whose lover was 
forbidden to approach its walls. But Sir William, coming of a race of men 
famous, even at that distant date, for their prowess in love as well as war, was 
not easily daunted. By persistent efforts he obtained an order for her release, 
but the abbess still clung to the fair novice, disregarding the order, until 
Fairfax, rendered desperate, entered the nunnery by force, and released 
Isabel. Amid great rejoicing they were united at the church of Bolton 
Percy in 15 18. A most happy marriage it was, and fortunate for the orphan 
heiress that she met the gallant knight, who was worthy of her love. With 
her came great wealth into the Fairfax family, the estates of Askwith and 



Denton and much property in the city of York. It was from this union 
sprang those Fairfaxes, so great and terrible on the field of battle. Pure as 
King Arthur's knights, they have left behind an undying* record for truth, 

honour and integrity. 

It was a remarkable sequel that the nunnery, where the fair Isabel 
had been so ill-nsed by the abbess, should, at the Reformation, have been 
granted to the Fairfaxes ; but so it came to pass that on a cold December 


day, in 1540, with a bitterness of spirit we can easily imagine, did the same 
abbess, with the weeping nnns about her, deliver up the keys of the nunnery 
to Thomas and Guy Fairfax, two sons of the same Isabel she had once so 
cruelly immured. 

From the wreck of the nunnery they erected the old hall, the predecessor 
of the one built by Sir Thomas in the seventeenth century. Sixty years 
later when Thoresby visited Alderman Milner at Appleton, he says there 
was not a vestige of the nunnery left, save a few gravestones.* 

What was the meaning of the brilliant assemblage, gathered together at 
Nun Appleton on a lovely autumn morn of 1657 ? The sun shines brightly, 
songbirds carol and rejoice, the branches of the old yews quiver before the 
western wind. In the distance can be heard the joyous notes of the ring- 
dove ; wafted on the breeze is the sound of a merry peal of bells. That 
polished and stately courtier is the handsome George Villiers, the gay 
cavalier, who had long been an exile in foreign lands, but returning, has for 
some time been a guest at Nun Appleton, and has wooed and won Moll, the 
general's only daughter. Glancing back down the vista of time, we can see 
a bridal procession passing down the avenue of noble oaks to the stately 
church of Bolton Percy. 

It is the time of harvest, and in the adjacent fields the reapers are busy 
cutting and binding the golden grain ; intermingled with the greens of the 
wayside are gay wild flowers. Man 7 Fairfax is to be seen smiling in gladness, 
for she loves the silver-tongued courtier and dashing cavalier at her side wtih 
all the depth of a first love. Merrily peal the Bolton bells, and sweet is the 
welcome of voices chanting the marriage song as the bridal party passes the 
portal of the sacred edifice ; but why do aged men shake their heads with 
ominous forebodings ? Happy indeed would have been Mary Fairfax's life if 
the gay duke had proved as true a knight as the good Sir William, who led 
the fair Isabel to the same altar a century and a half before. Sad would be 
the reflection of Fairfax when Buckingham, in after years, threw himself 
into every kind of folly and debauchery, a boon companion of the merry 
monarch. Indulgence in every kind of vice was their chief study, even to 
the dishonour of their country. 

* William Miliier, a merchant of Leeds, bought Nun Appleton for a very small sum 
and took possession in 171 1. Some six years later he gave up possession to his son, Sir 
William Milner, created a baronet in 1717, and from that date until a few years ago it 
descended to a Sir William regularly through six generations. It is now in possession of 
the Holdens, successful merchants of Bradford and Keighley. 


Pope says : — " This lord is more famous for his vices than, his mis- 
fortunes. Having been possessed of about ^50,000 a year, and passed 
through many of the highest posts in the kingdom. He died in the year 1687, 
in a remote inn in Yorkshire, reduced to the utmost misery." The above 
remarks are overdrawn. He died in the house of one of his tenants, the 
best that Kirbymoorside could boast of at that time. The house adjoins the 
King's Head Inn. The simple truth of the matter is that" the duke, at that 
time staying at his castle of Helmsley, and taken ill whilst hunting, was 
carried to the nearest house of importance, where his illness proved fatal 
before he could be removed. Pope, in his famous lines, 

" In the worst iiin's worst room, with mat half-huiig, 
The floors of plaster and the walls of dung ; " 

secures an intensely graphic -picture entirely at the expense of truth. 

The entry in the Bolton Percy parish register is as follows : — " George 
Yilliers, Duke of Buckingha" 1 , and Mary, y e daughter of Thomas lord fairfax, 
Baron of Cameron, of Nun-Apleto" , w th in this parish of Bolto" Percy were 
maryed the fifteenth day of September, an° Dm, 1657." The same date is 
given in the Fairfax Family Bible, now at Leeds Castle, Kent. 

Maty, his neglected wife, lived many years after his death faithful to 
his memory. Her body rests by her husband's, in the tomb of the Villiers, 
in Henry VII.'s Chapel, Westminster. 

It was from Nun Appleton, in the depth of the winter of 1659, that 
Brian Fairfax* undertook that perilous and adventurous ride into Scotland, 
to acquaint General Monk of Lord Fairfax's readiness to co-operate with 
him for the country's welfare, which ended in the restoration of Charles II. 

Lord Fairfax died 12th November, 1671. Great was the sorrow and 
bitter the grief for old " Black Tom," as he was lovingly called by the 
tenantry. He had been a good landlord and kind master, and as the funeral 
cortege passed on to Bilbrough, with its long ljne of mourners, many who in 
early manhood had fought like heroes beneath his standard, were now weep- 
ing, as they silently followed the corpse of the chivalrous warrior to its last 
resting-place. He sleeps by the side of his wife, beneath a marble tomb in 
Bilbrough Church. 

* At Castleton, just beyond the border, Brian engaged for a guide one Tony Elliot, 
a notorious moss-trooping thief. After they had proceeded a few miles Elliot suddenly 
turned and laid hold of Brian, but the latter was too strong and alert for the robber, who 
was flung violently to the ground, and Brian at length reached Coldstream. This notorious 
moss-trooper ended his days 011 the gallows at Carlisle. 


Here and at other places by the banks of the Wharfe a vast change of 
seigniory has come over the scene. The old historical families, whose 
names and deeds will be handed down centuries of time, have vanished from 
their old associations ; but the spirit of the past and echoes of old time seem 
to still linger. Enterprising business men, who have rapidly risen to 
wealth, now dwell in the homes of the old aristocracy. 

Before journeying to Appleton-Roebuck, a mile and a half away, let us 
rest awhile on the bridge wmich spans the Fleet. This bridge contains the 
stone upon which are carved the initials of Guido Fairfax, son of Sir William 
and Isabel. The meadow vale through which the Fleet lazily meanders 
to the Wharfe is most luxuriant in vegetation. Between this beck which 
rises on the south fringe of Knavesmire, and runs in its eight miles 
course parallel with the Ouse (the Wharfe forming its southern limit), is a 
tract of richly cultivable land, averaging nine miles in length by two in 
breadth. This stream, as the one which drains the eastern lands of the 
Ainsty, is sometimes called the Foss — Iyatin, Fossa, a ditch — and is by its 
name an artery of drainage, as well as a natural waterway. The tract 
of land above indicated, bounded by water on all sides, was named by 
the Romans Val-Caester — Val, a wall ; Castrum, a camp : the Vale-Camp — 
within which were situated at least two of their outposts, High and Low 
Acaster. Easy of access by water, this tract has been highly cultivated, and 
formed the garden of produce when York was an Imperial city of Rome. 
The several moated sites within this area also prove it to have been jealously 
guarded in the Anglo-Danish and early Norman days. There is a moated site 
in the wood just to the west of Nun Appleton Hall, and a most important one 
at Appleton village ; another at Woolas Grange, and again at Acaster Malbis, 
within which stood the old hall of the Malibisses. To fully understand the 
origin of these sites and the nationality of the people who dwelt there, 
would be to bring back life and history through all the centuries which have 
intervened. We might in imagination glide along the waterway of the 
Fleet and Ouse in the skin boat of the Celt ; or sail up the broad riverway 
with the fleet of Caesar; or tread the rude decks under the folds of the 
raven's plume, with sea kings and their half- wild followers from the Fjords 
of Norway, and join with them in plundering the good things of Bretland, 
and hear their story of adventure by the huge log fire during the long black 
nights of winter. We have not the least doubt that in olden times when the 
Fleet was in its natural state, a tidal stream, flooding the ings and in appear- 
ance like a small river, the Vikings steered their prames into this estuary 



and followed its course as far as Appleton village — which we reach through 
a beautiful domain of park and woodland. 

Just 011 the outskirts is the hamlet of Holme-green, the name bespeak- 
ing its Saxon origin ; holm being flat land, or level, low-lying ground at the 
confluence of waters. The prefix Apple in Appleton is of Celtic origin, 
as in Appledore and Applethwaite, etc. Wherever this word is applied it 


Appleton Roeb 



carries with it the association of a Celtic founding. The terminal Roebuck 
has been added in later centuries, perhaps from the presence of those animals 
so numerous formerly in the forest of Appleton. The surroundings are full 
of charm, yet present startling contrasts in architecture. The fifteenth 
century cottage standing by the side of the smart new brick structure of 


to-day ; hoary thatched dwellings, where generations of men have succes- 
sively dwelt ; opposite is the recent church, its newness jarring on the antique 
rnrality of the village. 

The subdivisions of lands in the township of Appleton and the field- 
names are curiously instructive ; those on the east of the Fleet have per- 
sonal names, those to the west bear witness to Danish occupation. There is 
one name which is kept alive in this district, but the history of the persons 
who bore it seems to be entirely lost, namely, ' The Brocketts.' 

Brockett Hall is a goodly moated site at the head of Daw L,ane— of 
rectangular form, and divided in the centre by a deep trench and rampart, 
each space measuring within the inner bank about one hundred and twelve 
yards by sixty. Who were the Brocketts, who have left their name so 
strongly in evidence here, and also in the choir of the north aisle in Bolton 
Church (in later centuries known as the Steeton choir) ? A Brocket was a 
buck or hart of two years ; a young colt was also called a brock ; in some 
parts of Europe, a person who is continually on horseback, is called a brock- 
man, and the French Brocarte is a personal name. In the ' Records of Knares- 
borough Castle ' this name is mentioned, and the holders appear to have 
been foresters.* 

Who were the builders of the castle which has been guarded by such 
strong entrenchments ? The moat is in a nearly perfect state, and the best 
preserved type in the valley of the Wharfe. The antiquity of the place may 
even reach beyond Norman times. Amongst the relics discovered in the 
vallum was the greater part of a beautifully shaped cinerary urn, found by 
Mr. Simpson, postmaster, at Bolton. 

In the squabble for the possession of the land in the Ainsty, some mem- 
ber of the Percy Fee has probably established himself strongly here, perhaps 
a Brockett. A branch of the Scrope family were also in evidence in this 

The field in which the entrenchment is situated is called by local children 
the ( DafFy Field ' ; inquiring the reason for this name, one lad quickly 
replied, " Sike lots a' daffies grow there." Seen from a distance, the vallum 

* One Robert Brocket, a draper, dwelt in York during the fourteenth century. He 
had a son also named Robert. There was also a Robert Brocket living at Appleton in the 
sixteenth century. Drake mentions a gravestone in Bolton Percy churchyard to the memory 
of Thomas Brockett and Dionisea, his wife, who died— one in 1435, and the other in 1437. 
A son, probably of the above, also named Thomas Brockett, is mentioned in Sir John Stapil- 
ton's will, proved June, T455. 



has all the appearance of a raised bank on a lowland river. It is quite pos- 
sible this may veritably be the ' val caster,' or lower river camp, hitherto 
assigned to Acaster Selby, a mile and a quarter nearer the Onse, but of 
which, at that place, it is suspicious that no signs of such a camp are to be 
found. Here, however, tiles and fragments of Roman pottery, evidences of 
military occupation, have been unearthed by the writer and others. 

Just to the north of the moat, and on the high bank of the Fleet, dwells 
a local celebrity of some eighty-seven years, still hale and hearty, and still, in 
1902, working in the fields eight or nine hours daily. This worthy is a type 

OlO tOTTtff App/.fT-q fof$vd\. __ 


of many persons in the Ainsty, who hold rather perverted ideas concerning 
the character and prowess of ' auld Black Tom Fairfax.' The following is a 
portrayal of this great man, from the lips of the veteran: — " He was a 
swarthy, dark giant sort of a man, wi' lang beany aims (bony arms) ; he 
could clap t'ball of his hand on te 'is knee-cap without bending down " (and 
here the old man demonstrated the impossibility of this feat being done by 


ordinary mortals by attempting it himself, but even the tips of his fingers 
fell several inches short of the desired spot). According to his statement 
Fairfax was a sort of giant ogre, " headestrang, maisterfnl, and a terrible 
blood-thosty (thirsty) fellow to boot." " His sword," he said, " was that lang 
and heavy ne van but him conld wield it, and wi' ya bat (one stroke) he 
conld cut a man in twa like nowt." The old man evidently thought that 
whatever the unfortunate circumstances which had attended the Fairfaxes, 
it was all dne to the misdeeds of ' Black Tom ' : " His kith and kin were all 
decent, respectable sort a' folks eneaf (enough) and even ' Black Tom/ " he 
admitted, " was nean sike a bad sort o' fellow at the bottom, when oot a' 
war." Such was the old veteran's graphic and humorous, though erroneous, 
story, to which we listened without in anyway attempting to qualify his 
curious statements. 

Here, and on the higher ground to the east of the Fleet, in the Roman 
Val-caster, stood the old Appleton of mediaeval times. The more swampy 
region, to the west of the stream, was known as Appleton Forest. From the 
beautiful village green, where the cotters' cattle graze, and children romp, an 
avenue of fine trees leads to the North Hall, late sixteenth century, with 
three oak-panelled rooms, forming, with its antique gabled roof and chim- 
ney stack, and the deep rich colour of tiles, in strong contrast to a fine setting 
of trees, a choice picture. 

L,ess than a mile north, following the line of the Fleet, is the moated 
site of Woolas, or Wollus Hall, the ' hus ' or house which gave significance 
to the place, whatever the ' woll ' may signify — wool, wold, or Wealha. 
Woolley Edge, in south Yorkshire, meant wold edge; but here, perhaps, 
it indicated the roof under which the sheep-farmer's fleeces were stored for 
selling to the clothing district staplers who regularly made their rounds of 
the farmsteads up to quite recently. 



y^/HIS village is under two miles from Appleton ; its name bespeaks 
Vir a Roman foundation, but the exact site of the camp, as we have 
before observed, is not visible here. The only other likely spot is the 
one occupied of old by the college of St. Andrew, situated in the parish of 
Stillingfleet, in the county of the city of York. St. Andrew, the patron saint 
of this college, had great Scandinavian popularity. It was evidently a very 
superior educational seminary, and was founded by Robert Stillington for 
' a provoste and three priests, a schoolmaister, and to pray for the soules of 
Edward IV., the queen (his wife), the prince (his sonne), the founder, and 
all christen soules.' The opening of this college was one of the great events 
of the time, monks attending from Selby, York, Cartmel, Hexham, Fountains, 
and Bolton, and from abbeys and monasteries further afield. 

Nether Acaster came into the possession of Osbern de Arches soon after 
the Conquest, and he exercised no great spirit of piety or self-denial in 
presenting to the abbey of Selby a thousand acres of moorish swamp and 
water-logged land, lying in the angle between the Wharfe and Ouse, reaching 
from the confluence of the two rivers up to the site of the college. The last 
provost was William Alcock, and at the dissolution its clear yearly value 
was ^33 8s. n^d., not a very fabulous amount for the support of three priests 
and a schoolmaster. Here the rule must have been ' high thinking and 
plain living,' for, doubtless, here were trained the men whose intellectual 
attainments and culture are still a marvel in our days, when knowledge is 
more easily attained. Youths of the house of Fairfax, the Palmes, the Vava- 
sours, the Rythers, a Malbis and Trussbut, etc., doubtless, received their 
training at this college. The outlines of the site are still visible, but, with 
this exception, hardly a vestige remains above ground. 



About fifty years ago, the grandfather of the present Sir Frederick 
Milner built a very pretty little church, in the Early English style, at Acaster, 
in which the donor himself and several members of his family are buried. 
This church is also the burial-place of the late William Beckett, M.P., of 
Leeds, ' who was there laid to rest amid such peaceful surroundings,' 30th 
Nov., 1890. Mr. Beckett was at that time tenant of Nunappleton Hall, 
although the leading member of the great banking firm at Leeds, whose 
headquarters are still established there. It was a simple, unostentatious 
funeral, but another mark of the currency of trade enriching the owners 
of the land. Lady Milner, wife of the Rt. Hon. Sir Frederick Milner, 
and daughter of the above William Beckett, who spent many happy years of 
her married life at Nunappleton, was also laid to rest in this quiet spot, 
July, 1902. During Mr. Beckett's residence at the historic mansion the 
ill-fated Duke of Clarence and Avondale was a frequent visitor. 

Here the fine curve of the Ouse, with the early Jacobean homestead on 
the high bank, and the ferry are items of scenic interest in passing. Acaster 
being situated in Stillingfleet parish, it would be well to give a short de- 
scription of the latter place. In crossing the Ouse by the ferry be careful of 
the treacherous mud bank on the further shore, otherwise you may possibly 
be engulfed up to the middle, as a medical friend of the writer found, much 
to his disgust. 


This village lies on the outer curves of a beautiful hollow. Of old 
this district was in the forest between the Ouse and Derwent, and physically 
not pertaining to Ainsty, yet a considerable part of the Ainsty history has 
been shaped in Stillingfleet : early in the Norman era it was in the possession 
of the powerful family of Trussbut, whose influence was strongly marked in 
the Ainsty. 

We were told by a native that Stillingfleet derived its name from the 
staying of a Danish fleet in the Ouse opposite : hence, Stillingfleet — the 
staying of the fleet ; though not quite correct, the tradition is worth preserv- 
ing. Originally, Stivelingflet (the ( Stiveling ' being a personal name, but 
also to this day in the north meaning staggering or stumbling), the terminal 
' flet ' indicates a shallow harbour, and at the mouth of the little river Fleet 
traces of such can still be seen ; and the settlement owes its origin to the 
Norsemen, who conceivably ran aground and stuck fast in the silt of the 



Seen from any point it is indeed a beautiful village with its spreading 
green of nearly twenty acres, through the centre of which flows the 
Fleet, a small stream ; near its margin the cottagers' cattle graze, flocks of 
geese gabble, and the children romp and play at pleasure. Around the 
skirts of the green red-tiled and rustic thatched-cots nestle in orchard and 

IF. Dean. 

garden. The grey church tower, like 
a noble coronet overtopping fine trees, 
puts the crown on this charming 
scene — truly a model English village. 

The church of St. Helena of Stillingfleet, a reminiscence of the 
Empress Helena, is also in every respect a memorial of the ancient dignity 
of the place. Its splendid Norman doorway is evident proof of its high 
ecclesiastical status. How eloquently the glory of the past is here writ in 
concrete form ! Its ancient monuments and effigies, curiously carved capitals, 
incised slabs judiciously inserted in the outer walls to ensure preservation, its 
magnificent north and south entrances, the latter with rich and varied 
character of mouldings and the sculpture of the intertwining dragon on the 
capitals, are probably Norse emblems of the war between Christianity and 
heathendom. The grand oaken door, with its symbolic wrought iron work 
representing Adam and Eve, the Ark, the Trinity, is an object of supreme 
interest. " Mony an owd Dene's (Dane) skin has been nailed on this door," — 
so we were told by a villager. Traditions like this still linger about the place, 
the native never thinking he may be a descendant of the 'owd Dene' he wishes 
to vilify. How many generations have passed through this doorway it 
would be difficult to tell, but we may allot its construction to a Trussbut, 



of the early twelfth century, when Selby was erecting doorways of the same 
grand Norman type to which this belongs. 

In the Moreby Chapel lies the effigy of Sir William Acclom, knight, 
and also a marble monument to the memory of two sons and two daughters 
of a sixteenth-century Sir William Acclom, a lineal descendant of the above, 
the founder of the family here. 


On the south side are the remaining parts of a leper's window, blocked 
up by a stone on which a rude outline of the Virgin is cameoed, through 
which the priest gave spiritual advice, the leper not being allowed to enter 
the church, and through this oblique aperture the leper might, to some 
extent, participate in the service and receive the Blessed Sacrament passed 
to him through the niche on a long forked stick. Others, excommunicate 
for any reason, and to be kept outside, might also use the ' leper's squint ' 


or Lychnoscope, for viewing, on the slant, the ' Elevation of the Host." 
There seems sufficient evidence to state that where a leper's window is found 
in a parish church that parish has sent a contingent of men to the Holy Land, 
the survivors of whom have had the ill-luck to introduce this loathsome 
disease into their native homes. 

The vestry contains some rare old oak, and a massive oak chest, girded 
strongly with iron : although the wood still defies the ravages of time, the 
iron work is fast wasting away. 

When this church was restored some time ago, portions of Saxon work 
were laid bare. The churchyard and its environs are beautified with masses 
of richly-hued frondage, and sweetly scented with blossom and fine growths 
of the cedar of Lebanon and Robinia acacia tree.* 

On the east side will be noticed a stone in memory of Matthew 
Johnson, of Kelfield, who died in 1865, aged ninety-eight, leaving a sum of 
money for a sermon to be preached to children on Holy Thursdays. 

On the west side, and palisaded round, are two large stones to the memory 
of eleven singers, who were drowned whilst crossing the Ouse on the morning 
of December 26th, 1833. It reads :— " Those whose names are here recorded 
were accidentally drowned in the river Ouse when returning from singing the 
praises of their Saviour in the neighbouring townships, December 26th, 
1833. As a tribute of respect to the memory of the sufferers and of deep 
compassion for their sorrowing families, their common landlord, Beilby 
Thompson, of Escrick Park, has erected this monument." 

What a heartrending scene would this be to the friends and families of 
those who left their homes only a few hours before to carol the Birth of their 
Redeemer ! An aged ferryman, who rowed the writer across the place 
where the greedy waters of the Ouse closed over them, well remembers, 

* On the 15th August, 1340, the church was appropriated to the hospital of St. Mar}'. 
"At Styveling flete, 8th November, 1336, Nicholas de Moreby, rector of the moiety of the 
church of Lynton, founded and gave in to Master Robert de N. Dalton, chaplain, and his 
successors, every day celebrating in the chapel situate against the mother church of 
Styveling flete southwards for the souls of the said Nicholas, William Moreby, his father, 
and Agnes, his mother, on toft and croft and half an oxgaug of ]and in Styveling flete and 
six marks annual sent to her yearly received out of his manor of Kellerield." Another 
chantry in this church was ordained by Henry Acclom at the altar of St. Anne for a per- 
petual chaplain. In 1402 Richard, Archbishop of York, united and consolidated the chantry 
of St. Nicholas in Naburn, "unto this of Acclom's in Stilling Fleet, the profits to go to 
the sustenance of one priest celebrating in this church of Stilling flete, one double and 
great festival, etc., and he shall celebrate mass in the chapel of St. Nicholas of Naburn on 
every Tuesday in the week." 



although nearly seventy winters have passed away, the heartrending sorrow 
of the bereaved ones. But we imagine even the day of death, however 
sudden, light in comparison to the time when the beloved ones were borne to 
the tomb. This village, we should think, never witnessed a more solemn 
and impressive scene, than when that mournful procession passed slowly 
through the portals of the old lych gate, where the casketed remains on the 
biers rested for the last time oil earth before being consigned to the tomb. 




The two prominent members of Stillingfleet, Naburn and Moreby, 
we can only mention briefly. The latter has been the creation of a Viking, 
which the terminal ' by ' assuredly indicates, whilst Naburn seems to be 
due to an Angle origin ; both places have continued to be the homes of 
prominent county families. 

About 1230, Archbishop Walter de Gray bought the estate of the Lady 
Agnes de Manefend, and it remained in the family of Gray for several 
generations. In the early fourteenth century it was in the possession of 
Sir William Acclom, knight, of Acclom, in Cleveland, by marriage with 
Mary, daughter and heiress of Sir Robert Moreby, at least so the pedigree 
makers say. However that may be, we find them well settled hereabouts. 
In 1398 Dame Mariota de Acclom, late wife of Sir William de Acclom, 
wills to be buried at Stillingfleet. Then we have William Acklain, of 
Moreby, Esquire, marrying Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Ralph Rither, of 
Rither; Sir William's sister, Elizabeth, marrying Brian Palmes. The 


direct line of the Acklams came to an end at Moreby in the death of John 
Acklam, whose only daughter and heiress married Mark Milbank, of 

The Palmes were settled in Nabnrn during the twelfth century. In the 
reign of Henry III., William de Palms held in Hardingtou and Nabnrn 
three-quarters of a knight's fee, and the family continued to be described as 
of Naburn down to the eighteenth century. The Palms of Lindley were a 
branch, of whom William Palms, Esquire, the noted member of Parliament, 
was the representative in 1702. Those of Naburn bore, as blazon, 'Gules, 
three fleur-de-lys argent, a chief vair.' St. George's in Fishergate was an 
ancient rectory in the patronage of the Palms of Naburn, and later the Mal- 
bises of Acaster, several members of the family, including Brian Palmes, 
being buried in the church of St. George.* (A further notice of this family 
will be found in our description of Otley and Iyindley, Vol. II.) 

The hall stands on slightly elevated ground above the Ouse, the 
village, with its brick dwellings, being typical of the level districts where 
stone is far to bring. Here we cross the river by the ferry to Acaster Malbis, 
just off the opposite bank. The Romans had a camp here, the water fort 
(of which the place-name Acaster is evidence), for the defence of York, 
riverwards. Very slight indications of the site remain, probably the Malbises 
built their hall within the line of the camp, and even the last stone of their 
ancient hall has lately disappeared into the adjacent farm building, but the 
ditch showing the exact boundary, and still intact in one plot, and the 
name " Hall Garth," doubtless mark both the Roman camp and also the 
fortified abode of the Malbises. Malbis, a Norman personal name, had 
some reference to the dark complexion ; in French the word means very 

* Iu the list of non-communicants in Yorkshire, 1604, are those of the Palms of 
Naburn. "John Palmes, Bsquier, non-communicant for one yeare last. Johan Palmes, 
wife of the said John Palmes, Esquier, recusant. Recusant reteined Sir George Palmes, 
knight, Kathereu, his wife, Leonard Gower, servant to the said Sir George Palmes, knight, 
Dionis Wilden, Dorothie Pearsone, Margaret Archer, wife of Thomas Archer, recusants for 
one whole yeare last." 

"Recusant reteined Francis Tiuckler, servant to the saide John Palmes, Esquier, 
recusant for one yeare last." 

"Thomas Babthorpe, gentleman, Marie Aske, and Ellis Archer, straungers, and do 
often resorte to the house of the said John Palmes, Esquier, recusants." 

" Secrete mariage : The said George Palmes, knighte, and Ladie Katherin, his wife, 
have bene called by waie of Sitacous into the cousistorie courte at Yorke to prove there 
mariage, vehemently suspected to have bene married by some popishe priest, but how it is, 
it is not knowen, and they are presented to have bene secretlie married." 



swarthy. This family, whose name is found in the roll of Battle Abbey, 
came into possession by the marriage of Richard de Malbysse with Maud, 
daughter of one Robert de Acaster. Agnes de Percy, contemporary with 
the foundation of the nunnery at Appleton, had a sister married to William 
Malbis, who held Acaster in 1166. His son Richard, who is named among 
King John's courtiers, succeeded, followed by his brother Hugh, whose 
grandson Richard had to answer for many territorial misdeeds. Among other 

privileges he 
claimed the gal- 
lows in Acaster, 
which it appears 
he and his ances- 
tors had used since 
the Conquest. 
Acaster passed to 
the Fairfaxes by 
marriage with a 
sister and heiress 
of the Malbises. 
Over the gateway 
at Steeton Hall 
there was formerly 
a stone slab bear- 
ing: the arms of 
Fairfax, having a 
white rose on the lion's shoulder, quarterly, with the arms of the Malbis ; 
above which was a stone helmet and the crest of Malbis ; these relics, we 
presume, are still preserved at Bilburgh. Early in the fourteenth century 
William Fairfax, of Walton, married Elizabeth, a sister of Walter de Malbis. 
The latter having a strong desire to visit the Holy Eand made Fairfax 
(in the event of not returning) his heir. Falling a victim to plague 
whilst in the East, Acaster knew him no more, and thus the Fairfaxes came 
into possession of the hall and land of the Malbises, which they held until 
the middle of the eighteenth century ; Hall L,ane, locally Hauling Lane, 
preserves the memory of their abode. 

John of Acaster, a native of this place and a stirring man of business, 
found his way to York city, and there prospered greatly. A chantry was 
founded "at ye altar of St. Thomas ye marytr," in the church of All Saints' 



Pavement, for the soul of John de Acaster, which belonged to the patronage 
of the family of ye Acasters and their heirs.* 

The lowly church of the Holy Trinity stands some little distance from 
the village, and possesses a few antique features and a mutilated effigy of 
a warrior of the Malbises. The present church replaced one of more humble 
pretensions about the year 1360, probably built by the Fairfax as a memorial 
of his wife's brother, whose effigy lies within. It was to this church that 
Archbishop Sharp was wont to come to meditate and pray.f 

From Acaster to Bishopthorpe the Ouse winds through fat wheat lands 
and meadows backed in the distance by the woods, and ahead bulk the towers 
of the minster rising above the grey city. The following is Iceland's 

* Markham says : " During the siege of York by the Parliamentarians, the vScots were 
quartered at Acaster Malbis, where they wasted all the corn and ate up all the sheep, kine, 
and swine to the value of two thousand pounds, and the landlord, Viscount Fairfax, of 
Gilling, was obliged to forgive his Acaster tenants a whole year's rent, so ravenous were 
these Scots." 

f The monuments in the church have been imposing, and are reminiscent of people of 
social worth, including some of the family of Malebisse. 

In the south cross Quire lyes a flat white stone marked with fine escutcheons at the 

corners and on the verge orate pro animabus Domini Nicholai north folk de qui obiit 

mennse Novembre, Anno Domini MCCC St. Elene uxoris sue quorum 

animabus fftur deur. Amen. 

Iu the chancel under the south wall lyes a stone whereon is raised the solid portraiture 
of one of the Malbys in armour, cross legged, bearing a shield of his arms as follows : 
a chevron between three hinds head, erased. 

On the north side of the above lies a narrow white stone marked with a Calvary Cross. 
We may gather more of the above from the foundation of the Norfolk or Mandell Chantry 
at the altar of St. Thomas the Martyr in St. Mary's Church, Castlegate, York. 

As we have already mentioned, and according to the Testamentary Burials and the 
presentations as above recorded, the Fairfaxes had a branch of the family settled at 
Acaster : — 

3rd May, 1444, John Fairfax, late of Acaster, gent., to be buried in the church. 

1 6th Nov., 1448, Thomas Letter, of Naburu, to be buried in the church. 

28th Jan., 1460, William Carter, of Acaster, to be buried in the church. 

22nd Sept . 1463 (date of will), John Hurtley, of Acaster, to be buried in the Quire of 

St. Mary in this church. 
5th .\ug , 1499, Roger Radclyff, to be buried in the Quire. 
21st Jan., 1492, John Bowmer, of Acaster, to be buried in the kirk, before our Lady 

St. Mary. 
13th Jan., 1302, Guy Grene, of Naburn, gent., to be buried in this church before the 

image of St. Mary of Piety, in the south side of the church. 
24th Apl , 15 19, Sir Symou Feryman, priest and vicar, to be buried in the church. 
14th Aug., 1519, Robert Metham, of Naburu, gent., to be buried in this church. 
23rd Sept., 1528, Robert Fairfax, of Acaster, gent., to be buried in the high quere 
afore the stall where he used to sit. 



description : " From Yorke toward by the length of a iii mile mervelns good 
corne gronnde, but no plenty of wood y a neere sight. In the middle way I saw 
hard on the right a veri fair large manor of the Bishops of Yorke, caullid 
Bishop Thorpe." And so through this pleasant country, fair of pasture, 
corne, and wood, Leland passed on to Cawood " with its fair castel and 
prettie village." 

The other palaces which mark the residence of the Archbishops since 
the days of Athelstan, are those of Cawood and Sherburn. At the latter 
place, few vestiges now mark the site of former 
splendour. Cawood, though but a shell of its former 


self, has just enough remains to attest its pristine magnificence. Bishop- 
thorpe, still the home of the Archbishop as it has been six hundred years, 
stands fair and stately by the turbid waters of the Yorkshire ' Tiber.' The 
building of the house commenced under Archbishop Walter de Gray, 
additions being made by nearly every incoming prelate. Pictorially, it is best 
seen from the river. Historically, this spot is interesting, apart from its asso- 
ciations with the prelates. Kings and queens have resided under its hospitable 
roof; Isabella, the she- wolf of France, has flirted in its halls; Philippa, the 
good queen of Edward III., sojourned here ; and scions from nearly all the 
great baronial families at one time or another have passed beneath its portals. 


Here, within the great hall, Archbishop Scrope was tried, King Henry 
IV. being present, fully resolved on the prelate's death. Lord Chief Justice 
Gascoigue, however, refused to pass the sentence, pleading that he had no 
jurisdiction over the life of a Bishop : " Neither you, my lord, nor any of 
your subjects can legally, according to the law of the realm, sentence any 
bishop to death"; and Maidstone adds, for Gascoigne's refusal, " may his 
memory be blessed for ever and ever ! " This upright judge was one of the 
most illustrious members of that most illustrious family of Gascoignes. The 
king found a more pliant tool in Sir Thomas Fulthorpe, who pronounced 
judgment, and in a field near by at Clemen thorpe, within sight of the city 
walls, at the fifth stroke of the sword the Archbishop's head was severed 
from his body, the five strokes being the last request of the prelate to the 
executioner to imitate the five wounds and for the love he bore his Saviour. 

An old custom, now fallen into disuse, was, on vessels passing the 
walls of the palace to give a salute, on which a can of ale was lowered 
on to the deck to refresh the voyagers.* 

We now pass forward to the historic city on the sombre waters of the 
Ouse (the Tiber of Humbria), over which the stately barges of ancient 
Italy glided (the Swan Road of the sea kings), who stained this second 
Rome with carnage, polluted its sanctuaries, and strewed its fair and stately 
architecture with ashes. Delightful and sweet are the meadows around 
Middlethorpe to our left, to the right the position of the quaint old church 
at Fulford on the high bank, with its frondulous surroundings, being very 
charming; further east rises the finely tapering spire of Heslington. 
Siward's Hill, near by, is a memorial, if not the grave, of some famed 
Norse chieftain ; hereabouts, in the meadows of Fulford, the battle between 
the Vikings and Saxons on that September day, 1066 — the precursor of 
other great battles — took place. 

In the approach from Heslington a wonderful view across the grey 
city can be obtained. To look over the ancient capital from hence, just after 
sunset, is well worth a journey. The sombre shades of evening half 

* Here at Bishopthorpe in 1385 a quarrel broke out between the retainers of Sir John 
Holland, the king's half-brother, and those of Sir Ralph Stafford. In the affray one of Sir 
John's retainers was slain by an arrow. On hearing the news Holland rushed impetuously 
forth, bent on retaliation. Sir Ralph, who seems to have been entirely innocent of the 
affair, unfortunately came in his path and was slain. Sir John afterwards fled to Beverley 
for sanctuary. He was deprived of his land and banished the kingdom. Holland's 
mother, known in history as the " Fair Maid of Kent," was so upset by the tragic affair 
that she took to her bed and died. 

3 o8 


shrouding in a mantle of grey the city and its numerous churches, the 
noble cathedral towers silhouetted against the dying splendour in the west, 
also suffusing the lantern tower of All Hallows' Pavement with the fading 
splendour, appearing to us like some antique diadem crowning the magnifi- 
cent picture. 

Reverting to the riverway, here without the walls is the New Walk, 
a promenade for city folk. Its name ' new ' seems a misnomer, for 
the walk has been in existence these two hundred years. To the west, a 



few hundred yards without the barrier from Skeldergate Postern, formerly 
stood the Benedictine Nunnery of Clementhorpe, dedicated to St. Clement,* 
and founded by Archbishop Thurstan, 1130, the first nunnery established 
in the north after the Conquest. Its chief claim for mention in these pages 
is that now it is only a memory. Tradition clings around this spot, 
although the nunnery has long since disappeared. It was most pleasantly 

* Agues, the prioress and the convent of St. Clement's at York, granted to the monks 
of Roche Abbey a certain piece of ground leading from their orchard to the river Ouse ; for 
which the said mouks gave them £$ os. od. sterling. 




situated and well provided, but its affairs as recorded have a secular tinge 
of life and the reputation of the nuns not the most saintly ; probably they 
were more human than spiritual, for the sisters seem to have mixed with 
the world rather freely. Their hospitality was widely known, and the 
privilege seems to have been abused. On the 24th of March, 13 12, the 
abbot and monks of Selby were prohibited from visiting Clementhorpe 
or spending the night there, the social attractions evidently having been 
strongly in evidence to call forth this censure of the archbishop. Still 
we have no right to judge the sisters harshly, rather let us leave the task 
to those who are without blemish.* 

Now we are at the bulwarks, of old the key to the city riverwards, being 
the highway from the ocean. The two large mounds, both of artificial con- 
struction, Baile Hill on one hand, and the earthwork on which Clifford 
Tower stands on the other, defended this entrance in olden times from the 
sea. The Swan Road, by which the wild Northmen came from the shores 
of the Baltic to storm the capital, was doubtless the scene of many a 
desperate encounter, assault, and repulse, until the defenders, overwhelmed 
by sheer weight of numbers, failed to keep the gates of their city inviolate. 
Bursting the boom thrown over the river, the uncouth savage men from Scan- 
dinavia went hacking and slaying, pillaging and burning, until the splendid 
civilisation of this second Rome (altera Roma) — the city of victory — became, 
for the time being, a chaos. Out of the dust and ashes the city again arose 
to its former importance. One ancient chronicler says of it, previous to 1070, 
that York, from the beauty and splendour of its buildings, " seemed as fair 
as the city of Rome," but after the vengeance of the wrathful conqueror had 
been satisfied, the city was only a heap of ruins, mournful in sackcloth and 
ashes. Afterwards, its walls became extended, as we find them now, and 
the city of mediaeval ages arose to somewhat of its former splendour, the 
corroboration of which is still to be seen in the architecture of the glorious 
minster, churches, fortified walls, and the ruined monastery of St. Mary's. 

Aberach, or Eborwyc, the original name of this city, bears the same 
meaning as the Welsh "Aber" — a confluence of two streams, or a river 

* Tanner gives a valuation of Clementhorpe at ^68 us. 8d. The house and site of the 
priory were granted by Henry VIII., 1541-2, to Edward Skipwith. In the following year 
both were in possession of Sir Arthur Darcy, Knight, who, with Mary his wife, in 1543-4 
had license to alienate them to Richard Goldthorpe. The seal of Clementhorpe is 
of an oval form; the figure of a person in pontificals with the right hand uplifted, giving 
benediction, is represented in the area, and with this inscription round: 5, Conventns 
Sancti dementis Pape in Eboraco. 


joining the sea — in the name of places, the prefix ' aber ' is still plentifully 
distributed over the United Kingdom. The site of the Celtic stronghold, in 
the angle above the continence of the Onse and the Foss, sufficiently explains 
this etymology. It also indicates that two thousand years ago it was a 
capital of the British people ; yet of this city scarcely a relic or memorial of 
its Celtic founders, except the etymology of its name, remains. 

A century and a half later, under the dominion of the Roman, Eboracum 
(at the point of confluence of the Ouse and Foss) became the metropolis of 
northern Britain, the abode of the victorious Sixth Legion, who had spread 
the terror of the Latin prowess throughout the known world, and the home 
of emperors, renowned generals, to which merchandise and the arts and 
luxuries of different climes were brought, until the crash came and the 
mighty empire of Rome tottered and fell before the inrush ing wave of Angle 
and Scandinavian adventurers. 

Mingling with the dust beneath the city is nearly all the vanished pomp, 
luxury, and glory appertaining to the mightiest nation the earth has known ; 
we cannot say all, for the multangular tower in the abbey grounds at the north- 
west angle of the original Roman wall still stands, a hoary and silent witness 
of Rome's imperial dominance. Other testimonies confirming the facts which 
history asserts, even more eloquently, are to be seen in the Hospitiam, now the 
museum, containing antiques, altars, votive tablets, vestiges of temples, 
fragments of urns and Samian ware, lamps, tesselated pavement, pottery, 
stone coffins and tombs of various design, domestic utensils and ornamental 
articles of dress and coinage, and even the children's toys are here. Out of 
the British Caer-Aberach and the luxury and refinement of the Roman 
Eburacum grew the Eber or Eforwic of the rude Engle folk, who came 
from the Angeln, the district now called Sleswick and Lower Hanover. 

Three centuries later, the city became the capital of the Danish kingdom 
of Northumbria, the Jorvic or Yoric of the sea kings, until by gradual pro- 
cesses of change and abbreviation, the city attained its present name of York. 
Thus the dust and ashes of not fewer than three cities, imperial grandeur 
and refinement, and the barbaric splendour of the Teutons, rest beneath the 
pavement, each layer of earth marking an epoch of centuries in the history of 
the city. And so complete has been the destruction that the pilgrim finds 
few relics outside the museum to link the memory with those far-off days. 
Time, the destroyer, is not alone responsible for all the demolition. Had 
time been the only effacer, Roman temples, baths, sculpture, and the rude, 
though strong, architecture of the Anglo-Dane would still be seen standing 



by the banks of the Ouse. No ! this utter ruin has been wrought by the 
hand of man, the despoiler of the architectural art of a bygone people. 

In the turbulence and passion of warfare, the Goths and Vandals 
shrieked out haYOc and ruin, and, in their wild frenzy, blood ran riot; 
and thus, during the first thousand years of its life, did the old city 
suffer from repeated sieges, harryings, burnings and plunderings, until the 
habitations, thrice renewed, of bygone people have crumbled into dust. 
Nevertheless, if those destroying vandals and wild northmen cast down the 
monuments of the Roman and Saxon, they built on the ruins of Pagan 
shrines a magnificent Temple far beyond the dreams of the Roman: a work 

lasting over three centuries, 

_ — ___ — __, an d representing the gradual 

change in architecture from 
Norman Gothic to Early Eng- 
lish, decorated and perpen- 

In its entirety it is the most 
spacious church in the king- 
dom. Who can stand before 
the west front of this beauti- 
ful cathedral and not feel the 
majesty and sublimity of its 
influence, so fraught with 
lovelinesses of human crea- 
tion, unrivalled in its almost 
bewildering richness — a per- 
fect Parthenon of pointed 

It must have been a strange 
and wonderful scene which 
took place at York in the 
April of 627 : the baptism of 
Edwin, and the destruction 
of the heathen temple at Good- 
Manham by the high priest 
Coin, which has already been 
told in preceding pages. Bede 
records that no place in the 

[By pei mission oj Arthur Lucas, civner of Copyright. 



city was found suitable for initiating so great a king into the mysteries of our 
holy religion; so a little oratory of wood was thrown up, and soon after his 
baptism Edwin began to build a noble basilica of stone ; but although the 
work progressed rapidly the king was slain in battle before its completion, 
the fabric being finished by Oswald, his successor. Yet scarcely was it 
brought to perfection when Oswald was also slain by Cadwallon. 

This first church, doubtless a rude structure, built partly of stone and 
partly of logs brought from the forest of Galtres, and, peradventure, roofed 
with thatch, was nearly destroyed in the sack and occupation of York by 
Cadwallon, following the death of Oswald. It appears to have remained in 
this ruinous condition until the advent of Archbishop Wilfrid, 669. Bede 
says he found it so desolate as to be fit only for birds to build their nests in, 
and he at once restored it, repaired 
the walls, fixed on the roof, and 
took care to cover all with lead, 
and ' glazed the windows,' to 
preserve the fabric from the effects 
of the weather, and prevent the 
birds from defiling the interior. 

This church, built under 
the fostering care of St. Wilfrid, 
doubtless suffered in the havoc 
and ruin of the Danish wars. 
It was again rebuilt, and in 1069, 
during the attempt of the Anglo - 
Danish population to throw off 
the Norman yoke, the cathedral 
was accidentally burnt to the 
ground. In the year 1137 it was 
yet again destroyed by fire. 

The magnificent monument 
of architecture, as it now stands, 
is a work which has lasted over 
two centuries : from the early 
thirteenth to the middle of the 
fifteenth. It is so stupendous, 
wondrous, and beautiful, as to be 
beyond the feeble efforts of mortal pen to properly describe— a place of dreams 



and impressions, symbolizing the inspired effort and impulse of king, baron, 
and ecclesiastic, and the pathos of human toil and sorrow for centuries ; per- 
haps at no other place in the north do we find such palpable eYidence, 
and so eloquent a witness, breathing of spiritual aspiration, history, story, 
tradition, and the associations of bygone centuries than here, within this far- 
famed temple of York. As one stands amid the worshippers, under the great 
tower, listening to the anthems on this church festival, there rises before 
oUr mental gaze a great chapter in the history of this North-Humberland. 
In the mingled refrain of the organ tones and the sweet voices of choristers 
we hear sounds swelling up through the dim aisles of the far past ; in the 
faintly-dying whisper of angelic strains, echoes and glimpses of that Easter 
morn worship, near thirteen centuries ago. Adversity only increasing its 
solidity, and sinking deeper the foundations and lifting higher the roof of the 
glorious fabric, as successive burnings and pillagings took place. 

The personal history hidden away with the ashes of numerous 
prelates, warrior-priests, and renowned citizens, will never be fully told. 
In those wailing tones of anguish, imagination hears the prayers of the 
besieged burghers supplicating the Almighty to deliver their city from an 
invading army without the walls, thirsting for human prey ; mingling with 
the wail of anguish, sounds of battle, and the murmur of a multitude, are 
voices of long-dead monks and churchmen — the outburst of the thankful 
Amen swelling upwards from this ' Gate of Heaven,' bespeaking deliverance, 
the shout of triumph, and the grand finale of victory. 

It would be presumptuous on our part to attempt to describe such a 
monument of pointed architecture as York Minster, testifying as the fabric 
does to the taste and the skill of its builders, and the chivalry and mediaeval 
glory of the old city. The vast height of the lantern and the lofty clustered 
piers, seeming rather to spring from, than rest upon earth, must assuredly 
claim the homage of the least cultured and disinterested. The dim per- 
spective of the interior, looking from the great west door into the choir, 
only thrown open in the past for the reception of a king, or the installation 
of an Archbishop, reminds one of some old forest grove in the long sweep of 
its nave and aisles, the extending wings of the transept, the magnifi- 
cence of its choir, the vast height of its clustered columns, the grand propor- 
tions of the groined and vaulted roof, and the varied elements of grandeur, 
beauty, simplicity, and richness are unparalleled. 

In such places man is humiliated by his own insignificance, and yet he is 
exalted, for the work of centuries rises in magnificence before him, and, as one 



writer says : " Feels rather than thinks, dreams rather than speaks." Divinely 
beautiful are the soft flushes of golden light enhancing the grandeur of the 
interior, flickering on clustered column in dim aisles, or, anon, gleaming 
fantastically on the time-worn pavement, brightening the tattered flags and 
banners decorating the nave — emblems of the sacrifice of human blood 
spilt — suggesting, worn and ragged though they are, not the poverty but 
the glory of a nation's arms — upheld in every clime. 

Valentine & Sons. 


The minster is embellished with old and famous glass of every period ; 
unfortunately, in several instances, there has been injudicious restoration 
by inexperienced craftsmen. The east window — the largest and most 
beautiful in existence — is transitional, or between the flowing and perpen- 
dicular. It was painted and glaired by Thornton, of Coventry, the most 
talented craftsman on glass of that period. He began in 1405 ; the artist 


was to receive for his own work four shillings per week, and the contract 
was to be finished under three years.* Here the old Bible stories have an 
exquisite setting, and glow with radiance. 

The great west window, which the setting sun illumes so divinely, is 
a fine example of flowing tracery with gabled canopy and later decorated 
glass, rich and harmonious in colour, and exquisite in detail and finish. 

The north transept contains the wondrous window of five lights (known 
as the 'five sisters'), geometric, early thirteenth century, fifty-three feet in 
height, five feet in width. There is a tradition that five maiden sisters 
(nuns) bore the expense of raising this window. The lights are of a rich 
silvery-green hue, the even balance of tone and combination of tints being 
most remarkable, representing tapestry: whence the tradition of five 
sisters having designed and worked out the pattern. In olden times it was 
also known as the Jewish window, but for what reason we cannot ascertain. 

Briefly, in the aisles of the choir, we note the fine St. William and 
St. Cuthbert windows, also the St. Chad and clerestory windows, all per- 
pendicular. The choir and Ladye Chapel are very fine fifteenth-century 
windows. The Te Deum window, west side of south transept, illustrating 
the chant, is a remarkable fragmentary relic of this art. The circular St. 
Catherine's wheel, marigold, or rose window, in the south transept — its 
coloured glass representing the white rose of York and red rose of Lancaster 
—is, perhaps, unique in its design and colour, as is, also, the peculiar ' bell 
window,' inserted in the nave in memory of Aid. Tunnach, the ancient 
bell-founder of York. 

The south transept furnishes specimens of Peckett's work, a famed glass 
painter of York, who died in 1795. This artist sleeps in St. Martin's church- 
yard, Micklegate, and in this church is another example of his skill, in 
memory of his beloved daughter. 

* " Indenture between the Dean and Chapter of York and John Thornton, of Coventry, 
glazier, for the glazing of the great window in the east gable of the choir of the Cathedral 
Church of York, which he shall complete the work of within three years from the beginning 
of the said work, and he shall portray the said window with his own hand, and the 
histories images, and other things to be painted on the same; and he shall also paint the 
same as necessary, according to the ordinance of the Dean and Chapter. And the aforesaid 
John shall also provide glass and lead, and the workmen, at the expense of the Chapter, for 
the convenience of the Dean and Chapter, in the same manner as he would work if the like 
had to be done at his own cost and charges, whereunto he shall take his bodily oath. And 
the said John shall receive of the Dean and Chapter, for every week wherein he shall work 
in his art during the said three years, four shillings, and each year of the same three years, 
five pounds sterling, and after the work is completed ten pounds for his reward. Dated at 
York, the ioth day of December, A.D. 1405."— Harleian MS. 



general effect is the same. 

" At every hour of the day the lights streaming from one or other of 
these windows would be illuminating the altar. On every side there was 
beautiful colouring in beautiful glass of every possible variety and execution, 
almost entirely, I believe, of English workmanship, and the greater part of 
it, most probably, wrought in York itself, and, happily, the bulk of it is 
still there in spite of fire and lapse of time. Shattered although it is, the 

These windows fixed an Inspiration of old, and 
it is still there ; and we bow as 
it were before the illuminated 
pages of a sacred book which 
had held our ancestors in thrall." 
The richly carved rood screen 
at the entrance to the choir, with 
niches, each containing a king in 
his royal robes, commencing with 
William I. and ending with 
Henry VI., is a rare piece of 
work ; its one fault being, that it 
is too heavy for its position.* It 
is impossible to describe the 
complex variety and condensed 
magnificence of the choir ; it is a 
scene which baffles description, 
a place too exquisite to set down 
in words ; 'tis indeed beautiful 
enough to be the very gate of 
heaven, as thought the writer 
while he watched the almost 
dramatic 'action of the aged Dean, 
the central figure in the scene, 
bending low before the high altar 
to receive from the hands of 
the choristers the offerings of 


* Iceland says : — " Before the Quere Doore staudes all the Kinges of England in great 
Pictures anionge whom was the Picture of Lolye King Edward, which was pulled down in 
Dispytte of his great fame, that he was mayd at St. The stone that the Picture did fall upon 
in Sole of the Church turned read as Blood, to the great Disgrace of him that pulled downe 
the same; and the stone is read until this day as may be seene, as of auutient Men is 
credibly reported;" 



worshippers. The kindly grace and action of the Dean and the benign 
expression on his features still dwell in my memory : in keeping with the 
ornate beauty of the tabernacle work of the choir, and prebendary stalls, the 
reredos representing the Crucifixion, by Timworth, the glowing hues of glass, 
the shafts of stone soaring to the vaulted roof of wood, whose beams and 
network of rib-like shoots ramify over the concave, with the beautiful 
splendour of the glorious east window shedding a radiance over the whole, 
combined to form a picture, probably never surpassed in magnificence by 
the interiors of Granada or those of Rome. 


The numerous antique treasures, intrinsically amounting to fabulous 
value, disappeared at the Reformation, with other historical mementoes of 
the past. Raine says : " The great altar on festival days must have been 
ablaze with beautiful vestures and jewels." The only survival of these 

relics is the horn of Ulph or Ul- 
phas, and the chair of St. Paulinus. 
The horn, part of an elephant's 
tusk, is elaborately carved with 
figures of the unicorn, gryphon, 
lion, and other beasts, and by the 
appearance of the carving it has 
evidently been brought from the 
Orient; formerly the horn was 
richly ornamented with gold. 
It is still to be seen in the vestry. 
Ulph, son of Thorald and son-in- 
law of Canute, previous to the 
Conquest owned large estates in 
the old kingdom of Deira, that is, 
the land lyingeast of York between 
the Derwent and the sea ; 
and, singularly enough, 
the little village of God- 
mundham was in his 
possession, where the site 
of the famous Pagan 
temple stood which pre- 
ceded the building of the 
church of St. Peter. 



Camden gives the following quotation from a book which was ancient, 
he says, in his time : u Ulphus, the son of Toraldus, governed in the west 
parts of Deira, and by reason of a difference like to happen betwixt his 
eldest son and his youngest, about his lordships when he was dead, presently 
took this course to make them equal. Without delay he went to York, and 
taking the horn, wherein he was wont to drink, with him, he filled it with 
wine, and kneeling upon his knees before the altar drank and thereby 
bestowed upon God and the blessed St. Peter all his lands, tenements, etc." 
In ancient times there were several instances of estates that were ' passed ' 
without any writings, by the lord's delivery of such pledges as these — a 
sword, a helmet, a horn, a cup, a bow or arrow. 

According to the above, it would appear that the two sons of Ulph 
were totally disinherited, but it was not so ; apart from the large gifts to the 

church of St. Peter, 
ample provision re- 
mained for his sons, 
Archil and Norman, 
who are mentioned 
among the king's 
thanes inthe Domes- 
day Book. Archil 
fought with the Sax- 
ons in their attempt 
to oust the Normans 
from York, 1070. 

The antique chair, 
historically known 
from vkstibui,k of chapter house. as the chair of St. 

Paulinus, and the 
coronation chair of the Saxon kings, in which Richard III. and James I. 
are said to have been crowned, still remains. The chair, rudely constructed 
of oak without any carving, and now greatly decayed, is stayed and 
clamped with iron to hold it together. 

Fragments of the earlier churches, Saxon and Norman, are to be found 
in the crypt. The fragments of King Edwin's, or more probably the church 
built by St. Wilfrid forty years later, are a portion of a stone stairway and 
a wall of the Saxon rubble or herringbone style ; relics of the Norman 
church are four clustered columns, ornamented with dog-tooth, spiral, 



lozenge, and diaper mouldings, etc. For the counterpart of this church 
we must look at the nave of Durham Cathedral, or Selby Abbey. 


There is no great display of tombs or descriptive statuary in the 
more would have relieved that almost awe-inspiring severity which 

characterises the nave and aisles. 


But this feeling of relief is 
more than counterbalanced by 
the beautiful hues of richly- 
decorated glass and the grand 
display of heraldry, commemor- 
ative of the Edwardian and 
Tudor period, for which the 
minster probably 
has no rival. 

The chapter 
house is entered 
from the northern 
transept through a 
doubly-arched open- 
ing, separated by a 
pier, and thence 
through a lofty 
vestibule of decor- 
ated architecture. 
The building is 
octagonal, and con- 
tains no clustered 
central pillar, the 
vaulted roof being 
secured by one knot 
in mid vault. How 
charmingly this 
room symbolises its 
purpose — the con- 
vocation of churchmen into one brotherhood ! The circle of ribs springing 
from their capitals to the knot in the summit of the vault are typical of the 
varied thoughts springing from the individual mind into one bond of good 
motive, and the stability of collective wisdom. In this room there is condensed 



all the ingenious simplicity, grotesqueness and grandeur of decoration 
imaginable, and our guide would fain have us believe that some of our 
great artists in painting and sculpture have received the inspiration for their 
subjects in this room. All the windows save one, that of the east, are 
considered amongst the most beautiful in Europe. In the ingenuity of its 

construction, its pictur- 
esqueness, lightness, its 
richness and variety of 
ornament, it probably 
stands unequalled. So 
said the satisfied church- 
men when it stood com- 
plete before them. The 
restoration made about 
the middle of the last cen- 
tury has unfortunately 
been carried out devoid 
of the skill and taste so 
much needed in such a 
shrine of ancient art. 
The glass of the east 
window is a bad example 
of modern craft, and in 
contrast with the remark- 
able richness of the others, 
is poor indeed ; so is 
the floor of the 
room, now paved 
with common- 
place tiles. It was 
here in this chapter 
house of York, on 
the 8th of Septem- 
ber, 1483, that 
Richard III. received his second coronation at the hands of Archbishop 
Rotheram. It was a great time of festivity. There were three who wore 
crowns in York on that occasion : King Richard, his Queen, Anne Neville, 
and his son, who was created Prince of Wales, and the old city was in a 
state of hilarity with tilts, tournaments, revels, and masques. 

[G. F. Jones. 




The Minster Close formerly occupied all the triangle of land between 
Monk Bar and Bootham. A boundary wall separated the Close from the 
city ; within it stood the church of St. Michael-le-Belfry (adjoining the 
south side of the minster), one of the most beautiful in the city, and in which 
are some fine tombs and ancient glass in the east window, and also 
heraldic work. 

In this church Guy Fawkes* was baptised, April 16th, 1570 ; and here 
lieth the body of John White, printer to the city of York and five northern 

counties, who, in 1680, 
had his printing office 
opposite the 'Star,' in 
Stonegate. He was ap- 
pointed by William and 
Mary their Majesties' 
Printer, for having had 
the good fortune to pub- 
lish the * Manifesto of 
the Prince of Orange,' 
after the timorous Lon- 
don printers had refused 
the work. Died 1715, 
aged eighty. And here 
also sleeps Thomas 
• Gent, poet, printer, and 
author, who, for some 
time, was an assistant to 
the above-mentioned 
John White, and after- 
wards succeeded to his 
business. Gent died in 
1778, aged eighty-seven. 
The church of St. John 
del Pyke, now demol- 
ished, stood within the 


* Guy's father, whose name was Edward, and his grandfather, William Fawkes, the 
latter by profession a notary, and also Registrar of the Exchequer Court of York, dwelt in 
this parish. The births and deaths of this branch of the Fawkes are several times men- 
tioned after 1565, when the earliest register of St. Michael-le-Belfry commences. 

the ainsTy of york. 


College of Vicars, extended, with its grounds, from Goodramgate to Aldwark 
and St. Andrew's Gate. The Bedern Chapel, founded in 1348, is still 
standing. Goodram or Guthram is supposed to be derived from the Norse 
chief of this name. Aldwark or i old- work ' — the original Roman work, was 
so designated by the Saxon invader. 

Hereabouts by the wall stood the church of St. Helena, and the palace 
of the emperors; in this church, tradition says, was found the sepulchre of 
Constantine Chlorus. Running nearly parallel with the present wall for 
some little distance south, and still to be plainly observed, is a portion of 
the original Roman wall. 

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Holy Trinity Church, a quaint, antique structure of very early founda- 
tion, is in Goodramgate. The tower has a pack-saddle roof and is very 
peculiar seen from the north side. The charm and sanctity pervading 
this ancient fabric is simply indescribable. The east window is a good 
example of perpendicular, as are the several fragments of heraldic work, 
on which are the arms of the Vere, Mowbray, Percy, Roos, etc. 



Under an antique arch we pass into College Street and to St. William's 
College, a relic of Tudor and early Jacobean architecture. There is a record 
stating that Henry VI. granted Letters Patent for erecting a college to the 
honour of St. William in the Close of York, for the parsons and chantry 
priests of the cathedral to reside in ; before that period the record explains 
that they had lived promiscuously in the houses of laymen and women, 
contrary to the honour and decency of the said church. The grant was not 
carried out until the reign of Edward IV., 1460, when it was founded by the 
Nevilles ' for the parsons and chantry priests to dwell in.' The niche over 
the doorway contains the crumbling figure of St. William. Here the royal 
printing press was set up by Charles, 1642. 

Uggleforth and Chapter House Street form an angle east of St. 
William's College. In the former stands a picturesque, antique rectory 
house. Chapter House Street and Grey's Court are indeed charming; with 
clustering roofs, old gables, and pinnacles and battlements of the minster 

walls, give fine con- 
trast of colour, 
patches of bright 
sunlight and sombre 

The Treasurer's 
House, lately re- 
stored, illustrates 
the period between 
the Tudor and the 
mansions of Queen 
Anne's reign; it con- 
tains a fine hall 
with timbered roof, 
a minstrel gallery, 
and the unique suite 
of rooms is furnished 
in the best possible 
taste and in strict 
keeping with the age 
of the house, with 

[S. Harrison. ^^ pi eces of Gobe- 

the treasurer's house. \{ n tapestry (found 

behind the old wainscotting, at the restoration), and curious inlaid cabinets. 



The Queen's bedchamber, and the King's, when (as Prince of Wales) 
he was the guest of Lycett Green, are features of interest. 

All about the Minster Court, east, are charming bits of roof, antique 
dormer windows reminding one of bygone centuries; over all there rests 
a solemn stillness and repose as of the Sabbath - 

Across the glade by the minster we leisurely tread, inspecting this 
romance in stone : wondrous windows, so fraught with story and tradition, 
niches, buttresses, battlements, and pinnacles, all of antique hue, green and 
grey pervading ! 

The City Palace of 
the Archbishops stood 
.between the residentiary 
and the minster, adjoin- 
ing the latter; and 
opposite to the north door 
there was a stately chapel 
dedicated to St. Mary 
and the Holy Angels. 
A few fragments of arches 
and windows remain in 
the ' close,' in their rich 
hues of silver-grey ap- 
pearing like jewels amid 
the surrounding green. 

Turning from the 
precincts of the minster 
and along High Peter- 
gate, we reach Bootham 
Bar, which occupies the 
site of one of the great 
gates of the Roman camp. 
The Temple of Bellona 
also stood near this gate. 
It was to this temple that 
the Emperor Severus was 
led on returning seriously 

ill from his last expedition against the Caledonians. This bar contains 
both Norman and early Tudor work ; through it passes ' the Great North Road.' 


[S. Harrison. 


Immediately beyond runs the eastern wall of St. Mary's Abbey, and here 
is St. Margaret's Arch, through which Margaret of Scotland, daughter of 
Henry VII , passed during her journey north. The abbot built the gateway 
at the time, purposely to admit his royal guest. The chronicler of the 
event says : "It was a fair sight for to see the company so rychly apoynted 
and grett melodie for to here the bells rynge through the citie." On her 
journey south during her widowhood she was again the guest of the abbot 
and lodged at St. Mary's. Doubtless the name of the arch originated 
with her visit. Within the arch is the York Exhibition of Fine Arts, 
from the portico of which a noble picture unfolds, embracing St. Mar- 
garet's Arch and postern on the left, and a picturesque mass of old roofs and 
gables on the right; in the centre the walls and heavy bulwark of Bootham, 
over which rise, solemn and stately, the great towers of the cathedral etched 
out strongly against patches of blue and dark rolling clouds : as of old in 
history, so it is to-day, an abiding manifesto of glory and power, "alike in the 
spiritual and the temporal. 

Leaving the city for Clifton, we notice along Bootham portions of the 
abbey wall as far as Marygate, which the line of wall follows west to the 
river. Lady Ingram's Hospital has 'an antique doorway, and St. Peter's 
College, a fine Tudor building of ancient foundation, is delightfully situated. 
By the street stands the Burton stone, having somewhat the appearance of 
a weeping cross. We were told that it is known as the plague stone. Further 
along is Clifton old manor-house, called also Nell Gwynne's House, a double- 
roofed structure, with deep red pantiles and crumbling Tudor gables. 
Picturesque mansions are delightfully situated around Clifton Green, and 
rural cots, whose yellow walls are sweetly intertwined with ivy and creepers, 
over which soar the stately poplars. In autumn, the scene is a mass of 
golden hue : through such environments we pass to the river, and turn along 
its banks citywards. Hard by, a narrow path runs from the river to Clifton ; 
it is a veritable lovers' Eden, rightly named Love Lane ; but we have no 
space to enlarge on the billing and cooing of human doves, it is the 
magnificent picture of the city, seen from a gap in the hedgerow, which arrests 
our attention. A meadow, the tall grass flecked with wild flowers waving 
in graceful undulations, is ready for the reaper ; the swaying hemlock, and 
tall weeds, higher than the grass, the branches and contour of hedgerows 
all help to form the artistic features ; beyond, the grouping of walls and roofs 
rising tier upon tier, the towers of St. Olave and St. Wilfrid, and the 
beautiful silvery mass of the cathedral, standing so divinely against the light 
blue vault of heaven, appears like a rare jewel in an exquisite setting. 



Turning into Mary gate we reach the church of St. Olave, standing 
within the precincts of the abbey grounds. The east window is perpendicular, 
painted about 1350. There is a three-light memorial window, in the same 
style as the ancient glass, to the memory of Professor Phillips, the historian 
and geologist, whose graphic pen has left an undying memorial in classic 

[IV. G. Foster. 


works on the county of York. His house stood near the church. Within 
this churchyard sleeps W. Etty, R.A., who, after wandering in varied fields 
of Art at home and on the Continent, wished to rest in his native city amid 
the scenes he loved so well. Two sister elms embrace his tomb, against 
which the pearly tints of storied arch and rich tracery of abbey ruin form a 



background and sweet contrast. In this hallowed ground also sleeps 
Joseph Halfpenny, one of York's artistic children. 

St. Mary's Abbey. 

These monastic ruins, and the memorials and associations of two 
thousand years of city life which lie around it, mark this spot as one of the 
most deeply interesting to the antiquary in England. Those who love to 
muse on history, tradition, pictured story and romance, will find here a rich 

and abundant store of 
material. A vast treasure 
of history lies hidden in 
these grounds and the vis- 
ible stamp of sanctity still 
lingers around. The first 
religious house was built 
by Si ward, the most famed 
of all Northumbrian jarls. 
The place was named 
Galmanho, and was dedi- 
cated to ' St. Olaf,' Nor- 
way's popular saint. The 
sound of this name 
awakens memories of re- 
nowned Berserkers, 
steering their fleets across 
the seas in quest of adven- 
ture ; the fluttering of the 
Norsemen's standard, the 
Black Raven, the clash 
of steel and the exultant 
shouts and wild chants 
of Vikings. 

Siward, the jarl, was a 
man of gigantic stature, 
which, added to his prow- 
ess in war, earned him 
the name of ' Dyera,' or the strong one. It is said of him that when he felt 
his end approaching he bade his retainers gird on his armour and so, fully 
equipped with shield, sword, and battleaxe, as he was wont to be in battle, 

[A. Sutton. 




he met his last enemy, Death. Siward was buried in the church of St. OlaYe, 
which he had founded near to or on the site of the present abbey ruins.* 

This beautiful monastic temple of St. Mary's arose in all the substantial 
grandeur and elegance of decorative Gothic during the thirteenth century. 
There still remain the range of exquisitely wrought windows in the north 
aisle of the nave, and the panelled arcading, with pointed arches beneath, 
and at the eastern end of the nave are the noble group of clustered columns ; 
other fragments of pillars and foundations of walls are to be seen strewn 
around. Had time and the effect 
of weather been the destroyer of 
this wondrous work of human 
art in stone, the abbey, only 
more beautified by mellow age, 
would still have been standing. 
But here, in the past, vandalism 
has run riot, and we can only 
be thankful that enough remains 
of this abbey to attest its former 
elegance and splendour. It is a 
beautiful spot, situated on the 
brow of a gentle, grassy slope, 
over which trees fling their broad 
shadow. At the foot of the slope 
rolls onward Ouse — never old, 
ever new, type of the immortal 
1 Water of Life.' Near the 
river stands the hospitium, the 
great hall of the monastery — an 
interesting fabric ; kings and 
queens and knights famed in old romance have oft passed beneath its portal. 


* Siward's daughter Sibylla married Duncan, king of Scotland. This king was 
murdered by Macbeth. Siward avenged the death of Duncan in battle with the Usurper, 
1054, whom he totally defeated. Siward died in 1055. His son, Waltheof, was in active 
opposition to the Normans during the four years following the Conquest; but he after- 
wards made peace with William and became a kinsman by marrying his niece Judith. 
Afterwards he became slightly implicated in some conspiracy against the king. His wife 
seems to have been a second Delilah, she being his main accuser. Waltheof was beheaded 
at Winchester, May, 1075. Judith, it is said, was smitten with remorse, and according to 
her request the king allowed the body to be removed to the monastery of Croyland, where 
he was buried by Abbot Wulketul in the chapter-house of that Ivincolnshire fenland. 




It is now used as the Museum of Antiquities and belongs to the Yorkshire 
Philosophical Society, where are to be seen the wonderful treasures of ancient 
York and relics from the adjacent districts. All objects here are significant and, 
in their various ways, beautiful ; dancing lights and shadows alternately play 
upon the old ruin, and in spring- 
time the air is perfumed with the 
blossom of hawthorn, and in the 
trees, bursting into frondage of 
various hue, the song-birds are 
singing blithely. The rare silvery 
tone of arcading,traceried window, 
broken arch and mullion stand 
forth in exquisite relief against 
the green turf and the back- 
ground of stately elms, stencilling 
their story of monkish times. We 
may easily picture a procession of 
sandalled monks treading the 
cloisters with noiseless step, and 
hear the solemn chant of the 
Gregorian song. Music is not 
wanting to-day, but it is from 
feathered choristers, who make 
the grounds echo with their song 
of joy, and even the wind, whis- 
pering and sighing amongst the 
ivy-covered fragments, lends aid 
to our muse. 

By way of contrast we turn 
from the argent hue of monastic 
time to the Tudor architecture 
of the King's Manor, adjoining 
the abbey grounds east. How 

marked is the change ! The old purple and madder-brown roofs, quaint 
gables and chimneys, leaded casements and oriels, charmingly framed 
with ivy, and the tall elms waving delightfully in the breeze before the 
windows ; and to the right, in the large quadrangular courtyard of rich grey 
stonework, one might expect to see courtiers pacing in the costume of the 




Tudor or Stuart period ; and over and above all still looms the majestic 
minster tower.* 

The classic building of the Yorkshire Philosophical Society, founded in 
1822, is in the grounds of St. Mary, and reared as it is by the ruins of that 
famed Gothic temple (so fraught with the spirit of the beautiful), the taste 
of the builders has not been happily exercised in its erection. 

Near the entrance to the grounds from L,endal stands the multangular 
tower of the Romans, showing the position of the north-west angle of the 
first wall, guarding Eboracum. From thence the barrier ran along the 
eastern side of Coney Street, the Ouse being to the west of the wall, adding 
a strong natural defence. 

Coney or Conyng, the King street, is the finest thoroughfare in York; in 
it is the Guild Hall, a goodly structure with timbered roof, supported by two 
rows of oaken pillars, each cut out of a single tree and brought from the Forest 
of Galtres. The stained glass, chiefly historical in its subjects, illustrating the 
history of York from the Roman period through the Middle Ages, to the 
window over the entrance representing the banquet given in honour of the 
late Prince Consort, is all modern, representing the work of Edmund 
Giles and William Peckett, natives of York, both skilled in the art of 

In olden times, three of the very best inns in the city were situated in 
Coney Street — the George, Black Swan, and the Three Crowns. In the 
fifteenth century, according to a record of that date, the ( Bull ' must have 
been the principal inn, for by a minute made Council Chamber, Ouse Bridge, 
Wednesday, April 27, 37 (Henry VI., 1459) — "It is ordained that, from 
this day forward, no aliens coming from foreign parts shall be lodged within 
the said city, liberties, or suburbs thereof, but only in the Inn of the Mayor 
and commonalty, at the sign of the ' Bull ' in Conyng-street, except 
otherways licensed by the Mayor for the time being, upon the penalty of 
forty shillings to be forfeited for the use of the community, by him or them 
who shall hold any inn, or do contrary to this order for the future." 

* Previous to the dissolution of monasteries the manor-house stood within the grounds 
of St. Mary. Some doubt exists as to whether it was the abbot's house or the infirmary of 
the monastery. At the Reformation it was considerably enlarged and became the official 
residence of the President of the Council of the North, and here kings and queens and many 
of the greatest in the land have dwelt. 

t The old council chamber, now disused, contains heraldic work by Giles and Peckett. 



One Reginald Fawkes, a descendant of John Fawks, of Farnley (steward 
of Knaresborongh Forest latter part of the fifteenth century), was an inn- 
keeper in the parish of St. Martin's, Coney Street, 1562. His name appears 

in a list of persons, 
who were specially 
authorised by the 
city magistrates u to 
brewe ale and beer 
to sell and typple." 
By his will dated 
25th of April, 1591, 
he is named Rag- 
nald Fawkes, of the 
city of York, inn- 
holder. According 
to his desire, he 
was buried in his 
Parish Church, St. 
Martin's, Coney 
Street, and in such 
a place as his wife 
should choose. 
Other members of 
the Fawks family, 
descendants of this 
Reginald, were born 
in this parish, bap- 
tized, married and 
buried in the church 
of St. Martin's. The 
above Reginald was 
the progenitor of 
Guy Fawks the 

St. Martin's, Coney Street, is externally a very elegant and commanding 
structure, a pure specimen of late perpendicular, with a fine tower, open 
battlement and crocketed pinnacles and buttresses grotesquely adorned, 
and contains examples of choice stained glass. The west window, given 
by Robert Semer, vicar in 1443, illustrates the legend of St. Martin. The 



clerestory windows contain large figures of the four doctors of the church, etc. 
The east window, illustrating the life of St. Athanasius, was removed from 
this church to the minster in 1722. 

Domesday returns say : — 

" Brneis de Burun has four houses of Grim, Alwin, Gospatrec, aud the Church of 
vSt. Martin, two of these mansions pay fourteen shillings." 

At the junction of Spurriergate and Low Ousegate stands the Church 
of St. Michael, possessing a very ancient foundation. It was given to the 
Abbey of St. Mary soon after the Conquest. The curfew is still tolled here 
at eight o'clock, and at six a.m., except Sundays : money for this purpose 
being left by a traveller who was lost. in the Forest of Galtres, and only 
found his bearings by hearing the bell of this church strike six.* The 
interior is of a mixed character, the classic reredos being out of keeping with 
the Gothic nave ; its chief feature, the rare perpendicular glass, is now in a 
very fragmentary condition. 

Turning into Low Ousegate we cross the bridge! into Micklegate. In 
olden times this was the only passage on foot over the river. On the bridge 
built in the days of Queen Bess, with its fine bows and high quaint central- 
pointed arch, stood (resembling the Rialto, Venice) the chapel of St. William 
and the Council Chamber of the city, and beneath the latter was a prison 

* In 1336, Robert-de-Sally built several houses between this church and the Ouse, and 
out of the rents thereof a chaplain was paid to celebrate at the Altar of St. Mary's in this 
church, for the souls of John-de-Reckall, Robert-de-Sally and Maud, his wife, and the said 
chaplain shall honestly keep the chalice, books, priests, vestments and the ornaments of the 
chantry, and perpetually find one lamp to burn before the altar, day and night. 

t Camden remarks: — It is a noble one indeed, consisting of fine arches; the middle- 
most of which is eighty-one feet, or twenty-seven yards wide from the first spring of the arch, 
and seventeen high, and was esteemed formerly one of the largest in Europe. The reason 
this arch was carried on to this extraordinary dimension was to prevent the like accident 
from happening, which chanced to overturn the old bridge in 1564 ; when, by a sharp frost, 
great snow, and a sudden thaw, the water rose to a vast height, aud the prodigious weight 
of the ice and flood drove down two arches of the bridge, by which twelve houses were 
overthrown, and twelve persons drowned. In 1154, when William, Archbishop of York, made 
his first entrance into the city, this bridge being crowded with the multitudes which came to 
meet him, the timber gave way and all fell into the river, but by the prayers of the 
Archbishop, not one of the company perished. In 1268, there is an account of the origin of 
a chapel on Ouse Bridge, in the Collectanea, when there was a peace and agreement made 
with John Comyu, a Scotch nobleman, and the citizens of York (median tilius regilius 
Anglia? et Scoti<?) for a fray which had happened upon the bridge, aud wherein several of 
John Comyn's servants had been slain. The said lord was to receive ^300, and the citizens 
were obliged to build a chapel on the place where the slaughter was made, aud to find two 
priests and celebrate mass for the souls of the slain for ever. 



called Kidcote — from Kid, a besom of ling or other wiry twig, and Cote, a 
lodging. Here, probably, juvenile offenders were birched. On the west of 
the bridge at the corner of North Street is situated the church of St. John, 
with half-timbered tower and deep red pantiles; the steeple was thrown down 
in a furious storm in 1551 ; it, too, contains fragments of decorated glass, etc. 
North Street, running north parallel with the river, is in rather a low 
situation, and was formerly occupied by the warehouses and staithes of the 
city merchants. Several ancient and quaint types of architecture are to be 
found in the street ; the most interesting feature being the church of All 
Saints. It has a tall, commanding spire, one hundred and twenty feet 
in height, its three-gabled chancel roof, the antique style of the grey 
crumbled stone-work, and the adjoining yellow- walled overhanging eaves of 
the Tudor houses, with other old-world features, presenting a striking picture 
of mediaeval style. The interior contains the most perfect specimens of 
perpendicular glass in England. 
In the east window are the 
following subjects: St. John the 
Baptist, St. Anne instructing the 
Virgin, St. Christopher crossing 
the brook, and in the centre 
light the Blessed Trinity. 
Perhaps the Bede window in 
the north aisle is the most 
celebrated, the fifteen panel 
lights of the last fifteen days of 
the world, with a mutilated des- 
cription in rhyme from a poem, 
" The Pryk of Conscience," 
by Rolle, the hermit of Ham- 
pole, who died in 1349. Stones 

containing marks of Roman 

°// A 'tt'Sur 

A i{Ef'li£>>£»TAT/OAf 

"} *& THIHITY 

sculpture have been found in 
the wall of this church.* Here- 
abouts in North Street and 
Tanner Row are other antique 
types of architecture and a small hospital founded in 1700 by the Lady Hewley. 

* The north aisle and north choir windows formerly contained the portraits of Nicholas 
Blackburn (Lord Mayor in 1413 and 1429), in armour, and the choir window Blackburn and 
his lady; in the next light, same window, are the portraits of Nicholas Blackburn, junior, 



Tanner Row was formerly the site of numerous tanneries. From here 
ran a lane to the north side of Micklegate, called Gregory Lane. In it 
formerly stood the parish church of Saint Gregory, an ancient rectory 
belonging to the patronage of the prior and convent of Holy Trinity. 

Returning into Micklegate we note artistic examples of decorative 
metal work in door-knockers and the water-spouts. On the south side 
of the street is the hoary-looking church of St. Martin's-cum-Gregory, its 
walls crumbling away from exposure and time. What strange contrasts we 
find to-day, side by side, in these old city churches ! Here, by its aged walls, 
there rolls all the bustle and activity of up-to-date city life, whilst around 


the hallowed fabric, standing in sombre shadow, a strange loneliness and 
silence, almost of death, reigns ; peradventure broken only by the chirp 
of sparrows that nest in its walls. This continual stream of hurrying, 
laughing life, surging against the crumbling vestiges of antiquity contain- 
ing the tombs of centuries, impresses the mind forcibly. The foundations 

and his wife kneeling. Leland says: — "The causeway, by Skypbridge towards Yorke, 
hath nineteen small bridges in it, for avoiding and over-passing carres cumming out of the 
mores, thereby one Blackburn, who was twys mair of Yorke, made this causeway and 
another without the .suburb of Yorke. He was buried in Saint Mary's Quire in the church 
of All Saints, where he was wont to sit against the sepulchre of his parents." The Black- 
burns were a family of flourishing merchants, whose period of activity was the first half of 
the fifteenth century. 


are partly of Roman material, in which there are signs of a former 
crypt ; the steeple having become ruinous was taken down in 1677, 
and replaced by a tower. There are fragments of Roman sculpture in 
the walls, one slab in the west end being very apparent. The south side 
with late Norman work, huge gargoyles, buttresses, and range of windows, 
presents a fine picture when the morning sun brings into relief its details, 
and typifies the solidity with delicacy of Gothic architecture. The interior 
contains fragments of stained glass and a window by Peckitt (who is 
interred in this church) to the memory of his daughter. An epitaph in this 
churchyard to the memory of Alicia Ineson, who died in 1729, aged twenty- 
three, says : 

" Wit joined to beauty and with virtue crowned, 
Makes women lovely — all in her were found." 

Away up Micklegate is part of the Priory Church of Holy Trinity, in a 
rather mutilated and ruinous condition, but with the row of quaint Tudor 
houses near it presents a fine hallowed relic of antiquity. Here lieth all 
that is mortal of John Burton, author of Monasticon Eboraceuse ; and under- 
neath the trees in the church-enclosure the stocks appertaining to Micklegate 
ward are yet remaining. The Benedictine Priory of the Holy Trinity* 
only now exists in memory, its foundation dating back to the eighth 
century. The Saxon church was ruined during the siege of York by the 
Normans, and was rebuilt by Ralph Pagnel, a baron in great favour with 
the Conqueror. It occupied a large space of land, bounded by Micklegate 
on the north, the city walls to the west, the bounds of Old Baile on the 
south, and Trinity Lane on the east. 

Between the Trinity grounds and Skeldergate the Fairfaxes had a 
goodly mansion, to which Fairfax's son-in-law, the gay Duke of Buckingham, 
made addition until it reached the dignity of a palace.f With the exception 
of Skeldergate and Micklegate, whose names reach back beyond the 
Norman period, there were no streets between the river and the western wall 
of the city previous to the fourteenth century ; nearly all the land being 
occupied for monastic purposes. 

* Formerly there were ghosts or phantoms hoveriug about the precincts of Holy Trinity 
consisting of three figures representing (so the story runs) mother, nurse and child. These 
figures were often to be seen flitting across the east window. Everything possible was 
done, such as cutting down trees— thought to be the cause of illusive shadows— to remove 
the unearthly visitants, but to no purpose, until the chancel was restored and the spectral 
window removed. From that time the figures have not been seen. 

t The estate on Bishop Hill came to the Fairfaxes by the marriage of William to 
Isabella Thwaites, heiress of Denton, etc., etc. 




A little to the south, on Bishop Hill, stand the churches of St. Mary the 
Younger and St. Mary the Elder, on the ground formerly belonging to the 
Priory. Immediately beyond is the old Baile, occupying the angle between 

the walls and the 
river. St. Mary 
the Younger has 
a foundation of 
undoubted anti- 
quity, and the 
large square 
tower, which is 
supposed to have 
been rebuilt in the 
late twelfth or 
early thirteenth 
century, has an 
admixture of Sax- 
on and Norman 
sculpture, which 
possibly indicates 
that in the re- 
building the old 
material has again 
been used. The 
upper windows 
have every ap- 
pearance of Sax- 
on design. The 
interior contains 
Norman work, the 
nave being separ- 
ated from the 
north aisle and 

tower by semicircular arches, and from the south aisle by sharply-pointed 
arches rising from slender circular pillars. The east window of elegant 
decorated tracery contains fragments of old glass. 

A little further south, at the junction of Bishop Hill and Kirk Lane, we 
reach St. Mary the Elder. The fabric contains late Norman and Early 
English decorated and perpendicular work. In 1659, its tower having 

W^T§S* "V*- - 




become ruinous, it suffered the indignity of being replaced by an ugly 
tower of brick. The wall contains ancient wrought stones, and one having 
the appearance of Saxon work, doubtless proving this church to be of 
very ancient foundation.* The Fairfaxes worshipped here, when residing 
at their mansion on Bishop Hill, and here the Duke of Buckingham and 

Mary, his wife, at- 
tended divine service; 
and here, three at 
least of the members 
of the Fairfaxes are 
buried. John Flax- 
man , R . A . , the 
famous sculptor, was 
baptized in this 

In Trinity Lane, 
connecting Bishop 
Hill and Micklegate, 
" John Strange Win- 
ter " (Mrs. Stannard) 
was born. Trinity 
House, part of which 
is now used as an inn ) 
is a relic of this old- 
time district, and fur- 
ther along on the west 
side, another ancient 
tavern bears the 
Biblical sign, " The 
Jacob's Well," its half 
timbered exterior — 
an interesting feature 
— being early seven- 
teenth century. 
Skeldergate, running parallel with the bank of the Ouse to Micklegate, shows 

* A church in York dedicated to St. Mar)- is mentioned in the Domesday Survey, but to 
which it refers we cannot say. There were six churches dedicated to this saint in York, in 
pre-Reformatiou times. The two St. Marys on Bishop Hill are certainly as ancient as any, if 
not the most ancient actually existing in York. 



quaint types of architecture. Wilkie Collins has a fine description of this 
street in his novel of " No Name." 

The Plumbers' Arms, formerly a portion of the Duke of Buckingham's 
palace which reached down to the Ouse, is a relic on which the eye lingers, 
its odd gables and irregular string-courses giving it quite a Flemish aspect. 
The numerous alleys leading down to the wharves all retain some special 
feature for study, and on the opposite bank of the river a few grey relics 
of the Friars walls can still be traced.* 

* Edward Bowling, father of " Tom Bowling " immortalized by that popular song sung 
the wide world over, was some time previous to 1790 owner of Skeldergate Ferry. 


The Walls of York. 

\^ • HE girdle of stone which nearly encircles the city, as we find it to-day, 
\zJ is chiefly the work of the Edwardian period, with slight alterations 
and repairs at a later date. The original walls, reared by the Romans 
to protect this military centre, enclosed a much smaller area than those of the 
mediaeval period. There is no map which gives the exact line of the Roman 
wall, and on that question archaeologists do not fully agree. A little south 
of the Merchant Taylors' Hall — the centre of Jewbury (of old the bury in g- 
place of the Jews), probably marks the south-east angle of the original 
fortifications ; and from thence the Edwardian wall runs nearly on the course 
of the former to the north-east angle : and so, from thence to the north-west 
corner, where the multangular tower of the Romans still stands ; and on both 
these sides fragments of the original wall still exist. From the multangular 
tower the mural girdle continued south, along the east side of Coney Street 
(to the south-east angle, where was doubtless a counterpart of the mult- 
angular), probably running east near the line of Ousegate, and over the 
north end of Fossgate, and along St. Saviour's Gate to its junction with the 
southern wall at the south-east angle already mentioned. 

Some time between the eighth and tenth centuries the Anglo-Danish 
people extended the zone of wall over the west bank of the Ouse, on the same 
lines as the present barrier, except that they left outside that portion known 
as Old Baile ; but to the east of the river it may not have included more space 
south than the original wall. The rude fort on which Clifford's Tower 
was in after centuries built, like the Old Baile, was outside the Saxon 
wall. Mr. T. P. Cooper, who, for years, has made the walls a special study, 
pointed out to the writer a ridge of earth which he considered to be a section 
of the Anglo-Danish barrier running from the west wall down to the 
Ouse ; this would leave outside the two earthen forts we have mentioned. 


There are other indications of the former existence of this old line of wall : 
the depression of the ground on what has been the site of the ditch running 
parallel with the vallum, and even the houses built on this line show slight 
signs of twist and subsidence. 

That Baile Hill and the other corresponding rampart between the Ouse 
and the Foss were in existence (dominating this entrance from the sea) 
during the Anglo-Danish period, we can find no sufficient reason to doubt. 
These two strategical positions were selected by William the Conqueror on 
which to raise strongholds, and it was around the two places that all the 
fury of the after-fights took place. William first built a strong castle, 
doubtless of wood, commanding the Ouse and Foss ; it was built upon the 
mound, where had formerly stood a Danish fortress, dismantled by Athelstan 
during the Danish wars so that the Norsemen would not have a stronghold 
whereunto to retreat. In after centuries it received the name of Clifford's 
Tower, from the round tower built by one of the Cliffords of that ancient 
family who were long wardens of the fortress ; and their name it still retains. 
It was the scene of the fearful massacre of the Jews in 1190. 

In his newly-reared castle the Norman king placed five hundred picked 
soldiers commanded by William Malet, just appointed sheriff ; doubtless 
presuming this garrison sufficient to keep in check the turbulent spirit 
of the disaffected Saxons ; if so, William was greatly mistaken — storm 
clouds were brewing in the north which upset all the king's previous 
calculations. Becoming apprised of the rebellion he only just reached the 
scene of the fighting by a swift march in time to save the garrison from 
extermination. To hold the city more secure in future, he built another 
fortress of wood on Baile Hill (a rude fort had already existed for centuries 
here) ; it was an exact counterpart of the one on the opposite shore of the 
Ouse. All the precautions taken by the Conqueror were urgently needed 
upon that side of the city. The Danes, with a fleet of six hundred sail, were 
already on the sea, their object being to combine with the Saxons in their 
struggle for independence. 

The castle of wood on Baile Hill only took eight days to build and 
entrench, and bind in with a high rampart of earth and stockade of timber 
running from the junction of the Saxon wall to the river. Standing by 
this old mound, one can easily unfold the story — the fancied security of 
the Normans in their two strongholds. There was a short calm, a lull 
before the storm, but the tidings were ominous. To a message from 
William (then away on the borders of Wales) requesting his soldiers to stand 



firm in case of peril, the commanders, William Malet and Gilbert of Ghent, 
sent him reply that they could hold the forts for a year ; so confident were 
they of their strength 
and prowess in arms. 
As the Danish fleet 
steered up the Humber 
Northumbria rose as 
one man ! the Normans 
were pinned in their 
strongholds ! It was a 
battle of giants, this last 
stand of the Anglo- 
Norse for independence 
and the possession of 
their old Capital. All 
the charm, power and 
prestige of the royal 
blood, and the old Anglo- 
Danish nobility were 
thrown into that fight. 
Edgar Atheling and Ar- 
chill (the latter probably 
son of Ulphas of charter 
horn fame), Gospatric, 
the Earl, and Maerlesi- 
nesyen (whose memory 
still lingers at Kirk- 
deighton), Morkere and 

Edwin, earls of Mercia, and Waltheof (son of Siward the Strong), who had 
been chosen governor of the city ; and many other noble names of old Saxon 
nobility. Malcolm of Scotland sent assistance by land ; and the Danes sailed 
up the Ouse in their war prames ; down from the hill fastnesses, where they 
had been in hiding, swooped the disaffected Saxons. From their battlements 
on either side of the Ouse the Normans could hold conversation, and 
doubtless urged each other to withstand the furious assaults. 

In the struggle three thousand Normans perished. Tradition relates 
how Waltheof (of gigantic frame) stood in the breach sweeping his terrible 
axe, and at every stroke a Norman fell to rise no more. To this day, after a 
lapse of over eight hundred years, coins, ornaments of attire and implements of 



war, belonging to the men who fell in the defence of the two forts, are found. 
Such are the fortunes of war — the issue of contests where numbers are 
concerned can never be calculated with certainty. 

There was the usual plundering by the Danish contingent. The city 
caught fire, many of the buildings being of wood easily became ignited. 
The wind wafted the flames slantwise, and the minster was totally destroyed 
in the conflagration. After the fight the two Norman fortresses were 
dismantled, but when the lust of war had been satiated, reaction came. The 
Normans in great force approached the city, breathing vengeance. So 
the Danes sailed away with their booty ; or, more to their shame, as some 
writers assert, were bought off by the Normans. Then King William 
" swore, by the splendour of God," to enact a terrible retribution nor did he 
belie his word. The like of his desolating scourge stands without a 
parallel in history, after which there was a strange silence, solitude and 
darkness ; over this a veil is drawn. Had there been a born leader of men 
at this juncture of affairs, the Norman standard would probably never again 
have fluttered in the breeze from the battlements of York. 

In the Edwardian walls, 1230 to 1350, are four mediaeval bars, in which 
are some slight evidences of late Norman work ; each bar or gate being 
formerly closed at night, and held by massive bolts and a strong iron chain, 
portcullis and double doors. Around Micklegate Bar crowd historic scenes, 
memorials, and the pomp and pageantry of royal processions entering the 
city ; this gate being the principal entrance from the south. Old chroniclers 
tell of scenes of dazzling brilliance witnessed here. The pomp and 
magnificence of royalty, the fluttering of banners, the gorgeous costumes 
of knight and squire and city magnate. The neigh and champing of 
steeds, the blare of trumpets, the jostling rush of the merry crowd eager to 
catch a sight of royalty. Over this gate have been impaled the heads of 
some of England's noblest sons ; alluded to by Shakespeare in the words, 
" Off with his head and set it on York Gate, so that York may overlook the 
town of York." The reference is to the head of Richard, Duke of York, 
slain at the battle of Wakefield ; and, in bitter mockery of his assumption 
to the crown, the Lancastrians placed a crown of plaited grass upon his 
brow, and affixed his head to the battlements of this bar. Twelve months 
later several heads from the shoulders of notable Lancastrians replaced those 
of the house of York : such was the whirligig of ' Dame Bellona ' in the 
Wars of the Roses ! 



To the antiquary and the lover of the picturesque, a day's placid 
enjoyment can be obtained on the battlements, the irregularities of outline 
adding a greater charm and variety to its pictorial features than the 
parallelogram of its original founders. 

Suppose we start from the west side of the river at Lendal Bridge. Here 
a charming picture reveals itself : one may watch and listen to the brown 
water lapping against the foundation of the old water towers, formerly guard- 
ing the riverway, and view the minster standing forth so divinely above the 
street architecture ; the green sward and tree-clad grounds of St. Mary's 
showing the contour of its walls girded for its separate defence yet abutting 
on to the city walls as though for additional security ; antique bits of neutral- 

W^^T t(j 


toned grey ruins peep forth here and there amidst clustering green ; below and 
near the river's brink is the hospitium ; beyond, the square tower of St. 
Olave's; to the right the multangular tower, and cluster of red roofs and quaint 
gables around the King's Manor. Sometimes, at sunset, the picture is a study 
in gold, green, purple, and vermilion : shreds of wandering clouds, tipped 
with amber, o'erspread the scene, the halo of sunset enhancing the rare 
beauty of the grounds, the minster being transfigured by heavenly radiance. 


The walls, in days of old bristling with men-at-arms, cannon, and steel-clad 
warders pacing to and fro, are qniet enough to-day, as we leisurely pace the 
battlements, looking down on things beautified with the witchery of age. 
We must not forget the soldiers of Rome, transplanted hither from the sunny 
shores of the Mediterranean, who, in the silence of night, when keeping 
watch and ward over the city, were, doubtless, often pining for their own 
homeland far away, among the vineyards of Italy, just as our own men out 
on the veldt, straining their eyes into the darkness of an African night, 
pined for a sight of their kindred and the homeland of Albion. 

The famous Sixth Legion, which followed on the withdrawal of the Ninth, 
garrisoned York for over three centuries — mark the period ! — equal to the time 
which has elapsed since the accession of Elizabeth to the death of Queen 
Victoria. This Legion has left its mark on York, indelibly engraved in a 
thousand ways. 

Here, opposite the walls by the railway postern, were in pre-Reformation 
times, the Friars' Gardens. In our walk we note the height, strength and 
solidity of the walls and various defences. Just without the battlement is 
the fine railway station and the straight track from hence to Darlington and 
the north, the outcome of George Stephenson's engineering genius and the 
commercial skill of Hudson, the railway king. The site of the station was 
formerly a Roman cemetery. Here is Micklegate, its massive arch a 
picturesque example of old-worldism, with its ghostly memories of human 
heads impaled on its turrets. It is partly Norman, with later additions ; 
doubtless the foundations are coeval with the rearing of the Saxon wall. 
The gateway is flanked by two strong towers, and upon shields in front 
of the bar are depicted the arms of England and France. There were 
formerly a barbican and portcullis to this entrance. Most of the original 
still remains. It was the principal entrance into York, and it has been the 
scene of many military struggles. Across this portal Harold and his army 
passed to the battle at Stamford. By this way the Lancastrians entered the 
city after that memorable fight at Towton, and through this bar the royalists 
gained admission to the city after their defeat at Marston Moor. 

The view down Micklegate from the battlements, now quaint and 
interesting, was formerly adorned with antique timbered houses, peaked 
gables and curiously wrought projections. Outside the walls to the south of 
the bar, we look down on St. Mary's Convent and Nunnery, a new structure. 
The sombre attire of the sisters we see pacing the grounds with measured step, 
being the only symbol there which blends with the past. This was the first 

2— A 



nunnery established after the Reformation. It was at Carr Croft (now Scar- 
croft), which we see from the walls to the west of the nunnery, where Arch- 
bishop Richard Scrope 
was beheaded (or, shall 
we say, murdered ?) A 
chapel was erected on 
the spot, but it has 
long since disappeared. 
Beyond Victoria Bar, 
leading into Scarcroft, 
the wall bends, forming 
an angle on two sides 
of the Old Baile ; this 
mound, though partly 
of Norman construc- 
tion, had its foundation 
much further back, and 
so had its counterpart, 
the old fort on which 
stands Clifford's Tower. 
At Skeldergate pos- 
tern there is a break 
in the wall, descending 
which we cross the 
Ouse and Foss and 
again ascend the ram- 
part at Fishergate pos- 
tern. Here, just with- 
out the walls, in olden 
times stood the Monas- 
tic Church of All Saints, Fishergate, belonging to the Abbey of Whitby, 
having all the privileges and immunities appertaining to the churches of 
St. Peter and St. Cuthbert in this city. Not a trace of this church remains 
above ground. Beyond the angle where the walls turn east, formerly stood 
the postern of the ' gate ' above named. 

St. George's Churchyard, within the city barrier, tradition points to as 
the burial-place of the notorious Dick Turpin. The Church of St. George, 
in Fishergate, York, was an ancient rectory in the patronage of the Palmes 
of Naburn and the Malbises of Acaster, till temp. Richard II., when it was 



appropriated to the Nunnery of Monkton, and a vicarage ordained therein. 
In 1307 William Palmes held the right of presentation and exercised it until 
1340, when Sir William Malbys presented. In 1353 John Dayvill presented ; 
Sir William Malbys in 1355 ; Isabella Malbys, widow, in 1361, and William 
Palmes in 1372 and 1380, after which the Prioress and Convent present. 
Many members of the family of Palmes are buried in the church, but none 
of the family of Malbys are recorded. On 27th January, 1586, the Church 
of St. George in Fishergate, with the parish thereof, was united to the Church 
of St. Dyoin's, Walmgate, according to the special statute 1, Edward VI.* 

We are now at Walmgate Bar, which, compared with the antiquity of 
the Roman walls, is a modern construction. The city walls did not extend 
south of the Foss previous to the last decade of the thirteenth century. 
The bar still retains the barbican and portcullis, and to the inner side there 
is tacked an Elizabethan domestic structure, a peculiar incongruity in 

L,ooking from the walls southwards, the medley of clustering roofs 
is very artistic. The church of St. Lawrence (without Walmgate Bar) 
suffered considerable damage during the Civil War ; the tower and a fine 
specimen of a Norman Gothic portal, four ranges of mouldings adorned with 
grotesque figures, are all that remain. Sir John Vanburgh, the famous 
Jacobean architect of Castle Howard, Blenheim, etc., was married at old 
St. L,awrence. Here was some choice work by Giles, the glass painter, now 
at Heslington Hall. 

On the east side of Walmgate, within the walls, stands the church of St. 
Margaret, its most interesting feature (and an ornament to the city) being the 
ornate beauty of the early Norman receding-arched porch. The first or 
outermost range of moulding represents signs of the zodiac, and on the other 
five orders are sculptured hieroglyphics, grotesque heads and strange devices. 
This entrance is supposed to have originally belonged to the hospital of St. 
Nicholas, formerly standing without Walmgate. The steeple of St. Margaret 
collapsed in 1672 and broke in the roof of the church ; here the Rev. Palmer, 
father to ' John Strange Winter,' was rector, and here the novelist penned 
some of her early work. 

On the west side of Walmgate stands the church of St. Dennis, with a 
finely ornamented embrayed Norman porch. The windows contain good 
specimens of decorated and perpendicular glass. In the north choir lies the 

* See also Naburu and Acaster. 



body of Henry, Earl of Northumberland, slain at Towton fight. This 
church was the worshipping place of the Percys when resident in the 

city. The windows 
contain heraldic work 
and numerous portraits 
of the family — their 
city residence stood op- 
posite the church. 
Walmgate possesses far 
too many inns, consider- 
ably over a score I am 
told. A common saying 
on seeing a person tipsy 
is — " He's been down 

Continuing our walk 

along the battlements 

from Walmgate, past the 

Foss islands, bespeaking 

a watery situation and in 

olden time a marsh, we 

reach the old Red Tower 

and descend from the 

walls, which we again 

mount at L,ayerthorpe. 

The parish church of 

St. Mary, L,ayerthorpe, 

[c. f. j. tus. an ancient foundation, 

was destroyed 1585, and 

the parish was then 

united with that of St. Cuthbert's within the walls. Here without the 

walls is the ground called Jewbury, formerly a burying-place of the Jews. 

The land was acquired here for the purpose as early as n 77. 

Many items of interest claim our attention hereabouts. The venerable 
church of St. Cuthbert, antiquated and lowly, with its interesting, though 
small, tower adorned with pinnacle and gargoyle ; St. Anthony's Hall ; the 
old Black Swan on Peasholm Green, formerly the home of the wealthy 
Bowes family ; the Merchant Taylors' Hall on or near the site of the church 




of St. Helene on the walls. St. Cuthbert's is of Anglian origin. The 
Domesday Survey records: " The chnrch of St. Cuthbert, William de Percy 
claims of Earl Hugo, and 
seven small houses containing 
fifty feet in width." The 
Black Swan, Peasholm 
Green, is a rare old gabled 
structure with mnllioned and 
latticed windows, oaken stair- 
case and panelled rooms. 
William Bowes, a well-to-do 
merchant, was twice Lord 
Mayor of this city, 1417-1428. 
Sir Martin Bowes, a descen- 
dant, and opulent goldsmith 
of London, was Lord Mayor 
of that city 1545. He gave to 
the chnrch of St. Cnthbert 
" bothe bookes, bells, and 
ornaments," and also to the 
Mayor and Commonalty of 
York, ,£600, part to be spent 
in distributing bread to the 
poor of the parish, as well as 
certain perquisites for seeing 
that the bequest was properly 
performed. In compliment 
to Sir Martin Bowes,* the 

Lord Mayor and Aldermen used to walk in procession every Martinmas Day 
to the church of St. Cuthbert to hear a sermon, after which they went to the 
altar, where the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, the sword and mace bearer did 
each of them lay down a penny and took up twelve pence, which they 
gave to the poor. 

On the opposite side of the green stands St. Anthony's Hall, concerning 
which Leland says : — " The Hospital of St. Anthony was founded about two 
hundred years ago, by a knight of Yorkshire, called John Langton," and he 

* Richard Bowes, of Croft Darlington, a descendant of this worthy family, lately 
presented to the church of St. Cuthbert a replica of the portrait of Sir Martin Bowes painted 
by Holbein, now in Goldsmiths' Hall, Loudon. 

[G. F. Jones. 




further adds, " Some do say that he was Mayor of York." This remark 
of Iceland is rather singular, for John Langton, the founder, was nine times 
Lord Mayor of York, from 1353 to 1361. The Langtons must have been 
among the few who were in those days both rich and popular, for in a 
previous reign, one Nicholas Langton held the office of Lord Mayor sixteen 
times, from and including the years 1322 to 1333, without a break, and 




•**».»*,.«' • ii. 

M - M 


8 Jul boa 


again in 1340-1-2, making in all a record of sixteen years Lord Mayor of 
York. St. Anthony's Hall is now the York Bluecoat School, a charity 
founded in 1705 for the maintenance and education of seventy poor boys, 
its chief feature now being the fine open timbered roof.* 

* The legendary glory of St. Anthony of Padua and his pig is represented in the 
windows of St. Saviour's. The brethren of this house were wont to go a-begging in the city 
and elsewhere, and used to be well rewarded for St. Anthony's sake; but if they were not 
relieved every time with a full alms, they grumbled, said their prayers backwards, and told 



Hungate, to the west of Peasholm, and leading from St. Savionrgate to 
the Foss, was in olden times the abode of wealthy merchants. Here the 
Hnngates of Saxton had a seat, and possibly received their name from 
residing here. Adjoining, the Guild of Shoemakers had their hall. 
Between Hungate and Peasholm stood the Priory of Carmelite Friars ; the 

spot was for centuries 
after the dissolution 
known as " Holy 
Priests," and a well 
there was called " Holy 
Priests' Well," up to the 
eighteenth century. 
Between St. Anthony's 
Hall and Monk Bar, and 
immediately within the 
walls and lines of the 
original fort, is the Mer- 
chant Taylors' Hall— 
'The Guild or Fraternity 
of the Mystery of Taylors 
in York.' If the honour 
of antiquity belongs to 
the Guild of Merchant 
Adventurers, the priority 
of wealth, says Canon 
Raine, belongs to the 
Merchant Taylors. It is 
a red-bricked structure, 
containing a chapel, and 
a small hospital for the 
poor brothers and sisters 
adjoins it. Without the 
precincts of the hall is 


the people that St. Anthony would plague them tor it. The disease erysipelas is well known 
by the name of St. Anthony's fire ; this the brethren made the people believe the saint would 
inflict upon them if they disobliged him, or could cure them of it by his merits. In time they 
had such an ascendancy here, and the patron of this hospital was held in such esteem, that 
when any person's sow pigged, one was fed apart, and fed as fast as possible, to be given to 
St. Anthony's friars, that the owner might not be tormented with the fiery ill. Hence 
comes the proverb, " As fat as a 't Antony pig." 



old St. Andrew's Gate. Here formerly stood St. Andrew's Church, a part 
of it still in use as a school-house. 

The area between St. Andrew's Gate, Aldwark — in olden time Wyrkes- 
dyke — and the wall shows evidence of great antiquity. We are on the site 
of the Imperial Palace of Severus and Constantine, and also the dwelling- 
place of the Sixth and Ninth Legions. Hereabouts, at even an earlier age, 
the Brigantine chiefs doubtless held their court in rude, barbaric splendour. 


Here is supposed to have stood the first Christian Church, dedicated to St. 
Helene, mother of Constantine the Great. Here the Emperor was born, and 
here he was crowned and became the first Christian Monarch of the world, 
and from hence he inarched to avenge Maxentius, and to his many conquests. 
Here, too, are fragments of the invaders' work— a portion of the original 
Roman wall raised eighteen centuries ago. To the antiquary and historian, 
this spot is hallowed with memories of bygone people ; Britons, Romans, 



Angles, Danes and Normans, have all left their impress here. Here is Monk 
Bar, said to be one of the most perfect specimens of mediaeval architecture in 
the kingdom, on the battlements are figures of sentinels in the attitude of 
hurling missiles at an advancing foe. 

From the Lord Mayor's Walk, the section of wall from Monk Bar to 
Bootham, the range of views over the city is, perhaps, the most interesting 
and beautiful. The wondrous work in stone and glass of the cathedral, with 
its antique, green, silvery sheen, and all the historic ravishment and romance 
of centuries surrounding the 
fabric, standing forth so 
nobly in all its startling 
beauty and majestic splen- 
dour, whilst the foreground 
about Green's Court and the 
Deanery grounds appeals to 
one's mind in another way, 
so sweet and restful with 
its mosaic of sunlight and 
shadow: the old madder- 
brown, saddle-backed roofs 
and gables, interspersed with 
lighter red and grey pin- 
nacles, intermingling with 
trees of various growth and 
tint, beneath which is a 
carpet of rich green sward, 
forming a picture of rare 
loveliness — an Eden of tran- 
quility in all verity. Here 
outside the walls the moat 
is seen to fine advantage. 
At Bootham the battlements 
terminate, with the exception 
of a few shattered frag- 
ments. The monks of St. 
Mary's girt their monastery 

with strong high walls for their better protection ; such defence was often 
needed, for the monks and citizens had old-standing feuds and hated each 
other bitterly. 


[S. Harrison. 




What a strange story regarding the abbey of St. Mary is that told by the 
aged monk of Kirkstall, who saw the incident and told it half a century later 
when in his hundredth year ! We allude to the rebellion of the prior and twelve 
monks of St. Mary's who had set their minds on higher dreams of holiness 
and a sterner discipline of monastic life. When the old abbot learnt their 
story he threatened, and tried by all means to turn them from the error of 
their way — to no purpose ; at length the disappointed monks told their trouble 
to good Archbishop Thurstan, "one who loved all religion," says a historian, 
who promised to intercede on their behalf with the abbot. On the morning 
of Thurstan's visit, he and his attendants were met at the door of the chapter- 
house, where a great crowd of angry monks from St. Mary's and other 
monasteries had gathered together expressly to defy the superior authority 
of the Archbishop. They clamoured and hooted and would have none of 
his advice and counsel, and the thirteen monks for some time were in great 
fear of bodily harm. Thurstan, pained and shocked by such an undignified 
exhibition of God-fearing men, tried his utmost to pacify them, but at 
length growing impatient said, " Since ye try to strip my office of its authority, 
I now strip you for the time being of your functions — your church is closed." 
At this came other shouts and an uproar of voices breathing defiance, and 
amid the turmoil the dissatisfied brothers who yearned for a holier and 
nobler life were borne away by the Archbishop. From this incident and 
the impulse of those thirteen monks of St. Mary's who were transplanted to 
the valley of the Skell arose the beautiful Cistercian abbey of Fountains', 
where by day, says an old chronicler, they laboured ceaselessly and by night 
rose for vigils, * there were none who ate the bread of idleness, or took rest 
until wearied out by toil.' Such was the origin of the storied pile of Fountains'. 

After this digression follows a brief description of the heart of the city. 
Fossgate, between Foss Bridge and Colliergate, with its fine half-timbered 
and yellow- walled houses, is particularly picturesque and suggestive of the 
past. In many instances these buildings are as strong and substantial as on the 
day they were erected. Previous to the dissolution there was a chapel on 
the north side of the Foss Bridge, possessing three chantries of considerable 
value. Camden Says that this bridge was so crowded with houses when he 
passed that way that he knew not when he was on it. On the west side of 
Fossgate stands the Hall of the Merchant Adventurers. This ancient guild 
was identical with the old mercers' company trading with the great manu- 
facturing cities on the Continent. In olden time nearly every trade in York 
possessed its guild and a hall, and in several instances a chapel was attached. 
To-day three only remain, the Merchant Taylors, the Butchers' Guild, and 



the Merchant Adventurers. The hall of the last bears every sign of venerable 
antiquity, the chief room being supported by two rows of strong oaken pillars, 
and it contains pictures of eminent city men, and arms of the Merchants of 
the Staple ; its dark wainscot panelling, old oaken rafters and beams, toned 
to sombre hue, present a fine interior of olden time. It is also rendered more 
interesting from being the site of an ancient hospital (founded in 1373 by 


l*m. r:."s^an9i 

i hU^ 


John de Rowcliffe) dedicated to Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary. The 
chapel and hospital are beneath the hall, and the foundations shew signs of 
Norman work. The hospital was repaired and re-dedicated to the Holy Trinity 
in 141 1. Divine service is still held for the Company of Merchants on the 
26th of .March (Charter Day). The hospital, we think, has ceased to be a 
place of residence for the ten poor people maintained by the Guild of 
Merchant Adventurers. 

Colliergate joins on to Fossgate, end of the Pavement, whilst St. 
Saviourgate on or near the line of the Roman wall runs east to Aldwark. 



South of St. Saviourgate was anciently a marsh of the Foss. In ancient 
documents this St. Saviour's is described as built on the edge of a marsh. 
The present structure is erected on a very old foundation.* 

Stainbow L,ane, a narrow wynd leading to Hungate, is of interest to the 
antiquary, and its name may have been derived from its position by the 
old citv wall. 

i— ---,- 

Qh&PeJ tn Jtfr/TC/tJhfy . Hm 


L,ow Petersgate, where Thomas Gent lived, runs north towards the 
minster from Collier gate. 

Stonegate passes south-west to St. Helen's Square and Davy gate. Stone- 
gate of old, Stean or Staynegate, is still picturesque with old-world architecture. 
The Star, an old inn, dating back to the days of the Tudor kings, with its 
antique frontage, staircase and oak-panelled rooms, musty and crumbling, is 
in this street. Ghostly visitants of the past age linger about these rooms, 
whence the haunted chamber. In this street, over against ' The Starre,' 
as early as 1639, one Thomas Broad had set up his printing-press. Here was 

* Near to the church is the Unitarian Chapel, where ministered Charles Wellbeloved, 
the learned antiquary, and John Kenrick, his son-in-law, also equally eminent as a classical 



also John White's printing office, and after his death his widow, Grace 
White, brought out the first York newspaper. This was in 17 19, and here 
also Thomas Gent courted pretty Alice Guy (the Guys, I believe, still reside 
in this street), and though his attentions were not at first requited, she did at 
length marry him, and he succeeded to old John White's printing business; 
and here also in Stonegate, at the sign of " Ye Golden Bible" dwelt Francis 
Hildyard, printer and publisher, who died in 1731, and his son John carried on 
the business at the above place. Canon Raine says that he astonished the world 

of letters by 
printing and 
issuing a sale 
catalogue of a 
stock of thirty 
volumes in 
various lan- 
guages all 
admirably ar- 
ranged. The 
remainder of 
this vast stock 
was only dis- 
persed some 
thirty years 
ago. It was a 
place very 
dear to the 

and it was 
in a window 
near by that 
the Duke of 
caught sight 
of a Caxton, 
to the eyes of a 
[G. f. jones. moreprecious 



Needless to say, the Duke did not leave without the treasure. Within the 
minster close at the end of Stonegate was Booksellers' Alley, where in 
olden times the chapmen exposed their wares for sale outside the jurisdiction 
of the city magnates. 

The hall of the L,ardiners, known as Davy Hall, stood in Davygate.* 
To this hall, which was not under the jurisdiction of the city, were attached 
several liberties and privileges, which for centuries were detrimental to the 
cause of justice, and consequently a source of annoyance to the authorities. 
Standing within the heart of the city, it was a place of sanctuary for those 
to whom the Lardiners thought fit to extend their sympathy ; neither mayor 
nor sheriff could arrest any person, whatever the crime committed, take fines, 
or disturb anyone from following his occupation, within its boundaries. In 
later centuries, the Corporation acquired the hall by purchase, with all its 
rights and liberties ; its boundaries can still be defined. The wealth of the 
Lardiners came to the Thwaites, from whom it was carried by marriage 
by Isabel Thwaites, the heiress, to the Fairfaxes. 

St. Leonard's Place marks the place on which stood the ancient hospital 
of St. Leonard, founded by Athelstan. In the first instance the hospital 
was dedicated to St. Peter, but afterwards King Stephen built a church for 
the hospital and both were dedicated to St. Leonard, and it then became 
independent of the minster. 

The heart of the city still retains a few of the ancient, narrow streets, 
scarcely wide enough for a cart to pass through, and the old post-and-pan 
domestic style of the Tudor architecture, whereof the huge oak beams have 
become so hardened with age as to be almost proof against fire. With the 
exception of the outer crust, where a fire occurs, these oak beams remain 
as sound as before. 

The Shambles, in existence during the Anglo-Danish period, is one of 
the most antique and picturesque parts of the city. The Domesday records 
that the Earl of Morton has fourteen mansions (holdings), and two stalls in the 
butchery and the Church of St. Crux (Church of Holy Cross). The latter 
stood at the south end of the Shambles or Butchers' Row ; this fabric was 
only removed for the widening of the Pavement some twenty years ago. 
Architecturally it was considered one of the finest city churches. A small 
mission house is built by the site of the ancient fabric, in which remains from 

* The Lardiners held it by grand serjeantry of the king from the time of the Conquest, 
with right to take a loaf from every baker's window, a gallon of beer from each brewer, meat 
from each butcher, and a fish from each cartload sold on Foss Bridge on every Saturday. 
These privileges being obnoxious to the citizens, were compounded for a payment in money. 



St. Crux are preserved : the tomb and helmet of the Duke of Northumber- 
land, who was beheaded on the Pavement, August, 1572. There are also 
mural tablets and fine armorial escutcheons, and on the floor are tombstones 
with brasses affixed, the chained Bible and other relics. One tombstone 
recorded that " Here liggs Thomas Wrangwys, and Alison, his wief, and 
Alison Wrangwys, her daughter, of whose soules, Jesu have mercy." 

In the Market Place, formerly Thursday Market, there is still remaining 
the stone with ring affixed, marking the scene of former bull-baiting. Each of 
the four streets leading from the square had anciently chains across them, and 
here toll was taken from people coining to expose goods for sale. These 
streets were Finkle Street, Silver Street, Feasgate and Davygate. Finkle 

Street, formerly Mucky 
Peg Lane, presents a 
typical picture of the 
past. In the foreground 
are two old inns, " Hand 
and Heart " and the 
" Black Swan." The 
mass of twisted roofs, 
overhanging peaked 
gables, and walls leaning 
with age; the narrow 
wynd seen in the dusk, 
the low, flickering 
lighted interior, the deep 
Rembrandtesque shad- 
ows, and a solitary figure, 
perchance, flitting to and 
fro in the gloom ; the 
great central tower of 
the minster, dimly seen 
beyond, remind one of 
scenes and stories de- 
scribed in some old 
romance. On market 
and fair nights, to an 
onlooker, the non- 
descript, motley, 

[a f 


chaffering, bargaining crowd, presents to us sides of human life that are 
unique on this side the English Channel. 

The churches of St. Helen's, St. Sampson's, Christ Church and All 
Hallows, should all be inspected. St. Helen's, in the square bearing its name, 
tradition says, stands on the site of the "Temple of Diana," and contains 
a few fragments of old glass, a Norman font moulded with an arcade of early 
Gothic character and an antique ornamental cornice, and the original 
lantern tower ; here is a memorial to two sisters, Barbara and Elizabeth 
Davyes, who each li\ T ed in seven reigns, and each completed her ninety-eighth 
year. All Hallows' or All Saints' Pavement, with its very beautiful octagonal 
lantern tower, in which, formerly, a light was placed at nightfall as a beacon 
to guide wayfarers through the wide Forest of Galtres ; and, if we remember 
correctly, there still remain the hook and chain on which the large lamp was 
hung. The door handle of this church is a work of art in metal, and 
represents the Devil in shape of a beast, with the head of a man in its jaws, 
and is somewhat similar to the one at Adel. 

A record of burial says : — " Mary and Margery Trew, loved like Martha 
and Maty ; they were religious and virtuous, mothers of many children, 
daughters to Andrew Trew, alderman, sometyme mayor of this city ; both of 
them married in one day in this church, and both buried in one summer in 
this grave, 1600, aged thirty-seven, thirty-six. They are not dead but sleep." 

In Whip-ma, Whop-ma-gate, the name of a small street between the 
Shambles and Stainbow, we have a curious example of street naming. There 
is a tradition, that once upon a time whilst the priest was celebrating St. 
Luke's Mass in the Church of St. Crux he accidentally dropped a consecrated 
crust out of the pyx, whereupon a dog which had strayed into the church 
seized and swallowed it. The hound was followed and killed, but its death 
did not atone for the profanation, for St. Luke's Day was long afterwards 
known as Whip-dog Day from the privileges the lads enjoyed of whipping 
stray dogs on the October 18th, in which we have the origin of the connected 
name and place : Whip-ma, Whop-magate. 

In the Church of St.. Mary's, Castlegate, with Perpendicular tower and 
spire, there are objects of interest, monumental inscriptions, etc. It was in 
the patronage of the Percys ; between this church and the river stood the 
monastery of Grey Friars ; according to Froissart, kings and queens were 
frequent guests here. 

2— B 



York, a picture in itself, is also a place of many pictures about which 
cling visions and crowds of old-world memories of strange historic incidents 
and scenes of mediaeval pageantry. To the lover of quaint and picturesque 
forms in architecture, the city is, perhaps, without an equal in the kingdom. 

Although to-day a great 
railway and mercantile 
centre, it still retains that 
wonderful impress, 
hallowed by romance of 
days gone by. The per- 
vading features of its 
ancient streets (each one 
with a chapter of history 
and reminiscence of some 
noted character), and 
more interesting by their 
irregularities of outline, 
overhanging eaves and 
gables, beautifully 
carved projections and 
portals, half-timbered 
exteriors, picturesque 
latticed and dormer 
windows, saddle-backed 
roofs, and chimneys of 
fantastic form, devious 
wynds and side alleys — 
with here and there a 
peep of silvery grey- 
stone ruins — reminding 

[G. F. Jones. » 

one even to-day of old- 
time pomps and cere- 
monies, when the city bells rang merrily, and earls, barons, knights and 
esquires rode forth in gorgeous array, or of processions of white or grey 
cowled monks, completing the picture of monastic and mediaeval York in the 
heyday of its historic glory. 

" Visions of the days departed, shadow}- phantoms fill my brain, 
They who live in history only, seem to walk the earth again." 



IN passing out of the city by Micklegate and on to the Knavesmire, the 
high road follows very closely the original Roman way. Here between 
the city and Dringhouses formerly stood the gallows for the execution 
of criminals ; and here in the past, grim and ghastly, the bodies of those 
executed rattled in chains, to the terror of benighted travellers. Knavesmire 
is from the Saxon knape, a servant, or a poor householder. The terminal 
mire is fittingly descriptive of the low, watery situation of the common. 
For many centuries over this waste has been a right of common pasture for 
the cattle of the poor freemen of the city to stray and graze on ; besides the 
above purpose it is used also as a course for horse-racing. Previous to 1730 
the races were run on Clifton Ings, and in the sixteenth century in the 
Forest of Galtres. The course on Knavesmire was opened in 1731. 

To the north of the road is another portion of the stray known as Hob 
Moor. By the footpath leading to Acomb lies the worn effigy of a Crusader 
in complete armour. This figure is known by the name of Hob, and is 
supposed to represent the knight who formerly gave this moor for the 
benefit of the poor of Micklegate ward. It was probably brought hither 
after the suppression of monasteries, most likely from St. Mary's. On 
the pedestal is an almost illegible inscription : 

" This statue long Hob's name has bore, 
Who was a knight in the days of yore, 
And gave this common to the poor." 

According to the shield, which bears two water bottles, it doubtless represents 
a member of the Roos family. 

Yonder, over the low-lying meadows just beyond Acomb, Severus' Hill 
rises forth conspicuously, doubtless the mound is chiefly natural, a pre-historic 
alluvial drift deposited from water. The most probable origin of these 
undulations — there are three — is that, ages ago, the Ouse hereabouts formed 



two channels, one passing to the west of Acomb and across Kna\ T esmire ; 
which, like Askhatn Bogs, is doubtless the bed of a large lake, and principally 
from their overflow during flood seasons the land has been scoured and 
silted. The ashes of the Emperor Severus rest here, for tradition makes 

this the scene of his 
burial. The burning 
of the body is graphically 
described by an old his- 
torian. The two sons 
of the dead monarch 
assisted at the ceremony. 
His body, clad in martial 
attire, was laid on 
a magnificent pyre, and 
the lighted torch applied 
by his sons ; and as the 
flames ascended they 
and his chief officers and 
soldiers rode round the 
blazing funeral pyre — a 
subject worthy the 
brush of a great master. 

Acomb — Ac, oak; 
Comb, a ridge ; the oak 
ridge, or, perhaps, only 
Cw///,-2l vale— is a pretty 
suburb of the city, and 
about two miles away 
from it. A pleasant 
feature, in the landscape 
is its cruciform church, 
with tower and spire ; 
and doubtless a sacred 
building has stood on this site since Angle days. Sixty years ago Acomb 
sand, noted for its fine quality, was cried from door to door through the 
streets of York— " Sand ! fine Yacomb sand, oh ! " One odd character, 
who earned a livelihood by hawking sand in the city, is still remembered 
by the aged. 

[S. Ha> risen. 




Drill ghouses, standing by the side of the highway, is a small, pleasant 
village to the west of Knavesmire. There is a pretty chapel-of-ease. The 
place is supposed to have received its name from the tenure by which the 
land was held here in early Norman period — ' Drengi,' inhabitants belonging 
to the land. On either side, the road for two miles or more west of 
Micklegate has evidently been used for burial in Roman times. Numbers 
of tombs and stone coffins have been discovered from time to time on this 
side of the city. It was named the Street of Tombs. 


[S. Harrison 

A mile further, and a few hundred yards south of the road, situated 
amongst meadows, is the quiet little village of Copmanthorpe, a survival of 
old settlement and sparse population widely scattered. It was formerly 
known as Temple Copmanthorpe. The Templars had an establishment here, 
presented to them by Trusbutt, Lord of Stillingfleet ; here they also found 
a powerful friend in Roger de Mowbray and Hugh Malibisse. It afterwards 
came into the possession of the Malibisses and passed to the Fairfaxes by 
marriage with the heiress of the Malibisses. 


The Vavasours founded in Copmauthorpe a cadet branch of their 
family which endured for several generations. Sir John Stanhope, writing 
to Lord Talbot, 1590, says: — " Our new mayd, Mistress Vavasour, flourishethe 
like the lilly and the rose." She was in great favour with Queen Elizabeth 
and was a daughter of the Copmauthorpe branch. On the 6th November, 
1558, Thomas Vavasour, of Copmanthorpe, wills to be buried in the church 
of St. Mary, Bishophill (the later), and that his son Henry "do cause one 
yearly obit or masse and dirige, within that, his parish church, by the space 
of twenty years next, after his departure, and then to give and bestow upon 
the curate, parish clerk and poor people, within that church 10s." On the 
1 6th January, 1544, William Vavasour, priest and Doctor of Divinity, wills 
to be buried in St. Mary's by the altar of St. Peter in the south aisle. 

The Middletons also had lands here, of whom Thomas de Middletou 
was vicar in 13 17. Among the burials in the church, Torre noticed some 
of their tombs. In the south aisle lies a white stone, about three yards long, 
having three escutcheons in a row, and upon the verge is engraven : — 

" (S)rafc pro animabus £3riant 2tfioMeion armifleri, el §f>ristianc 
uxoris ajus, qui qutoem 33rianus obiit tjiti. oie utensis gcmuarit Jl-IP- 
MCCC, munagessimo secunoo (1392), quorum animabus p.p. ten pens- 

At the foot of the last lies a blue stone about two and a half yards long, 
marked for an effigy and a plate. 

On the south side, eastward of the last, lies a white stone, whereon is 
this escutcheon : — Arg. frelty sable, on a canton of the reund a crescent for 
Middleton impaling Arg. on a fess sable between three Jleur de lys piles as 
many besants, for Thwaytes, and in the verge is engraven : — 

" ^ic iacet corpus gof)amtis $fU56Ieton armigcri, §1 jKlatiloe usoris 
que qui obiit nouo oie mensis ^looembres, Jl.p. MCCCLXXX., quorum 
animabits p.v> te-u peus. Jlmen." 

At that period Copmanthorpe was in reality, as it was long afterwards, 
regarded as an outlying part of western York.* 

* Torre's account of its History :— The Church of St. Mary, Bishophill, the younger, 
was esteemed oue of the great farms belonging to the Dean and Chapter of York, and by 
them usually demised with the advowson of the vicarage to one of the canons residentiary at 
the rent of sixty marks yearly, being called farmer of Copmanthorpe. The town of 
Copmanthorpe belongs to this parish and church of St. Mary, the Dean and Chapter having 
the tithe, corn and hay thereof, usually let to farm for the rent of ,£i6 yearly. The town of 
Over Popilton belongs to this parish also. On the 21st of February, 1449, an arbitration was 


The church is not a very pretentious structure, but there are several 
fragments of good Norman work. The village, in its farmsteads, quaint 
cottages and garths, still retains many interesting features. 

In passing to Bilburgh, we follow the high ridge, cutting the 
Ainsty into two parts, and from which far-reaching scenes can be obtained. 
The view of the city from this elevation is indeed a wonderful picture, 
especially when thrown into stronger relief by heavy dark clouds, with their 
accompanying shadows in the foreground concentrating the golden light on 
to the middle distance. The pearly grey of the minster towers rising forth 
in solemn grandeur over this city of churches, gives a DUreresque effect to 
the picture : purple, blue and opal grey, brilliant patches of light and con- 
trasting shadow, the wold hills standing out definitely in the background. 
In winter the outlook over the low-lying dank land is certainly not over 
prepossessing. In spring when orchards, cornland, and meadow carpet the 
landscape, or in early autumn when the vast sweep of yellowing grain is 
nearly ready for the reaper, the mind cannot wish to linger on a fairer scene. 

To the north-east, in the hollow, spreads the unreclaimed swamp, 
known as Askham Bogs, the haunt of the long-eared owl, the snake, the 
fox, and other wild creatures ; formerly this marsh was of much larger 
dimension, part of it being reclaimed during the last century, as it makes 
excellent tillage and is noted for good crops. The old windmill, minus the 
sails, perched on the ridge here, is a conspicuous object to the wayfarer; 
its days of corn grinding are past. Its walls now form a prominent 
advertisement, blazoning forth the " purity of the celebrated Tad caster 
Ales." Down in the valley towards the edge of the moorland, the two 
Askhams slumber peacefully right out of the track of the busy world ; both 
are beautiful in their old-world pastorality, crofts and meadow strips sur- 
rounding tiled granges, and the antiquity and distinctiveness of their churches 
reaching back to Norman days. Near this spot some of the vanquished in their 
flight from the battlefield of Marston — grievously wounded and exhausted — 
fell to rise no more, and were laid to rest in quiet churchyard earth, remote 
from medley of men and tumult of battle. 

made between the Dean and Chapter and the Abbot and Convent of St. Mary's, York, that 
the Church of St. Mary's, Bishophill, should receive the tythes of certain faggots and 
estelwode in the wood called Sulhwode, against Over Popiltou. The vicar of this church 
has for his portion the oblations of the parishiouers, mortuaries, and personal tithes ; also 
the tithes of orchards and nurseries and increase of cattle, for which he shall cause the 
church and chapel to be served, and pay yearly to the farmer of the Chapter of York, twenty 
shillings. All the residence the canon residentiary has for forty-eight marks. 

3 68 




Askham Bryan had its name from Brian Fitz-Alan, the man whose line 
gave the Stuart to the house of Scotland, and also gave his name, Brian, to 
the Stapletons, Fairfaxes and Palms of Naburn. From this we learn the 
quality and grit of the man at whose bidding the fabric was erected. Later, 
the village came into the hands 
of the Mowbrays, and by 
marriage with the daughter and 
heiress of Mowbray to Sir 
Myles Stapleton. In the reign 
of Charles I., John Geldart, an 
alderman of York, owned the 
manor, and built a goodly 
house here, the foundations of 
which can still be traced. 
Samuel Clarke, haberdasher, 
twice Lord Mayor of York, also 
built himself a grand house at 
this village ; and probably this 
was the haU'which afterwards 
the frestons (who gave their 
name to " Mount Preston," 
Leeds) inhabited. This house, 
even to its foundations, has lately been completely demolished. 

The church is only small, yet it possesses several noteworthy features. 
Its Norman porch is a fine specimen of that period, and the windows at the 
east end are noticeable lights. Seen from the lych gate its pictorial and 
distinctive characters are very striking. There is a sweet restfulness and 
beauty about the precincts of this little sanctuary. Very pleasant indeed 
are the sounds peculiar to these sleepy places. The monotone of the 
cawing rooks, nesting in the lofty trees, the almost ceaseless twitter and 
trill of warblers, the clucking of fowls, the bleating of lambs, the harsh and 
dismal skrike of the guinea-fowl, and the gobbling of the old turkey in the 
stackyard : all these harmonise and make a ' picture for the ear,' as music 
has been called ! 

From iVskham Bryan, the path leads through clover fields and meadow 
to Askham Richard. In this walk can be specially noted the abundance and 
variety of bird life, for which it appears a veritable paradise ; the whirr of 
startled partridge rises from one's feet, the chuckle of a pheasant comes from 
the undergrowth of the greenwood, the call of the cuckoo from an adjoining 






bush, a yellow-hammer singing blithely in the brake ; these and more invite 
to delay, as by meadow and woodland, picturesque and pleasant byway, 
we reach West Askham, or Askham Richard. 

In the Confessor's reign the two Askhams (the terminal ' ham,' heim, 
denoting their Anglian origin) were, previous to the Conquest, among the 
estates of Edwin, Earl of Mercia. William de Arches, who gave the church of 

West Askham to the 
nuns of Monk ton (his 
own foundation, and for 
whom he had specially 
provided), was per- 
sonally intimate with 
William of Normandy, 
who won England on the 
field of Senlac. It was 
this knight who dwelt in 
the hall at Thorparch in 
succession to the son of 
Owen. According to the 
Domesday record, there 
appears to have been a 
great amount of dispute 
and wrangling amongst 
the Norman knights 
over the lands won, or 
more probably pilfered, 
from the then defenceless 
Saxon, at that period 
unable to defend his 
birthright. Regarding 
Askham and the ad- 
joining places, the dis- 
pute between William Malet and Osbern de Arches appears to have been 
strongly in evidence. According to the report of men of the Ainsty, the land 
ought to have been in the possession of William Malet, and the men attached 
to the soil of the land in dispute evidently considered themselves his vassals. 
Early in the twelfth century, Askham Richard came into the hands of 
the Mowbrays, but as at the time Roger de Mowbray was about to go to the 





Holy Land, along with the great army of crusading knights, he gave to his 
friend, William de Tykhill, all the manor and town of Askham, with the 
advowson of the church. The church is beautifully situated between the new 
mansion of the Fairburns 
and the Vicarage, and in 
summer nearly hidden in 
encircling greenery. The 
most notable features of 
the fabric, which has been 
rebuilt, are the porch of 
the south entrance, and a 
square stone which may 
have been the base of a 
Saxon cross. On it is 
carved a large serpent with 
open jaws, symbolic of the 
stealthy spirit of Evil seek- 
ing to engulp the Good 
that keeps it within bounds. 

The village, with its 
green, and its large pond, 
and the huge mansion 
dominating it on the north, 
is not lacking in interest. 
It stands on a gentle 
ascent, and in the crofts 
and meadow garths are 
to be seen traces of great fragment of a jacobkan hall, bilburgh. 

antiquity. Pleasantly the 

path curves by field, stile, and hedgerow to Bilburgh, situated oil the 
highest elevation of land hereabouts, and the landscape unfolds like a 
map, for miles, revealing the great plain of York. 

Bilbrough, originally Bilburgh, i\e., the burgh on the height, and the 
highest point of land in the Ainsty. In olden time a hill fort, a fortified camp, 
doubtless a Celtic settlement, its commanding situation in the old forest 
region of Ainsty would prove a point of vantage to the victorious invader, 
following the departure of the Romans. The military way of the latter 
people between Tadcaster and York passed less than a mile to the south of the 



village. Standing about one hundred and fifty feet above the sea level, it is 
a landmark to the surrounding country. From opposite sides of the village 
street can be seen the whole breadth of the lower vales of the Wharfe and 
Nidd, and the vale of the Ouse to the Humber. What a magnificent prospect 
the eye wanders over, dotted with city and town, village and hamlet, 
and the silvery streaks of the winding rivers flowing seawards ! The village 
has a remarkably clean appearance. On the south side of the street nearest 
York Road, is an old house, with mnllioned windows, once the residence of 
Admiral Robert Fairfax. Carved on the stone over the doorway are the 
initials " R.F." It has evidently been a good type of a Jacobean house, but 
now shorn of its former proportions*. 


Although the exterior of the little church at Bilbrough may not impress 
the visitor with the beauty of its architecture, yet under its sacred roof 
rests the tomb which contains the ashes of one of England's noblest sons. 
The church having undergone complete renovation, making it a more 
worthy resting-place of the great warrior, was opened for worship in 
February, 1874. It had long been in a dilapidated condition, and, with the 


exception of the Fairfax chantry, was entirely pulled down. It originally 
belonged to the Priory of Holy Trinity, York, in an ' inquisition ' concerning 
which Richard de Bilburg was a juror, about 1280.* The dedication of the 
church is doubtful. The old edifice had some slight remains of Norman and 
Early English work. The east window was a three-light with square head ; 
the chapel now has a three-light, four-centred arch at the east end, and side 
windows of two lights. This portion has been repaired and re-roofed ; the 
two low arches separating it from the church are pointed, of two orders, 
springing from piers with a centre shaft, although the floor of this chapel has 
been raised it is still two feet lower than that of the present church. The new 
church is of greater width and height than the old fabric, but about the same 
length, with the tower at the north-west corner of the nave forming the porch. 
The cost of the building was defrayed by — Fairfax, Esq., of Newton Kyme. 
The interesting Fairfax's, or more properly the Norton's Chapel, in the south 
wall, bears the stamp of age. " It was built in 1492 by John Norton, L,ord of 
the Manor, and also marks his resting-place. He left six marks towards the 
maintenance of Sir William Draper's charity, and to his successors for ever : 
that he and they should sing and occupy the service of God for the souls of the 
said John Norton and his family. This sum is still paid to the rector."f 

Margaret, the widow of John Norton, made her will on April 24th, 1506, 
and it was proved on May 2nd. She desired to be buried in the tomb of her 
late husband. She left six silver spoons to her grandson, Christopher 
Norton, and desired that her son William should find a priest to sing for her 
for a year. She left twelve pence to Sir Thomas Oglethorpe, the curate of 
Bilbrough, her primer and books of prayer to her daughter, Joan Nelson ; 

* The Basys of Bilbrough represented a York family who won wealth in mercantile 
pursuits ; they appear to have possessed the friendship of King Edward I., gained during 
that monarch's long residence at York and Cawood between his campaigns in Scotland. 
Roger Basy, the " delicatus nobis" (our darling) of the King, gave the Abbot and Convent of 
Selby a messuage in Skeldergate, York, in 1292. The grateful monks have noted a few 
descents of these illustrious traders ; " from Walter Basy three messuages in the street called 
Skeldergate, in length from the King's highway near Ouse, up to the way which is near 
le Bailie, and in breadth from my toft which was formerly of Thomas of Nystowe on the north 
part, up to my toft which was formerly of William of Holteby on the south part." From this 
Walter descended Roger who gave the messuage ; from Roger another Roger and Richard ; 
from the last Roger, Haniund Basy, and from him Richard Basy, who was of Bilburgh in 1365. 

t Ingrish formed one of the chain of beacons between Lancashire and the North Sea, 
where a soldier was stationed in former times read}' to light up the signal. In the Bilbrough 
parish register there is an entry of the birth of a ' daughter of George Teasdale, soldier at the 



and three shillings and fonrpence to each of the children of her son William, 
to whom she bequeathed the residue of her property. Finally, she left all 
her bees towards keeping np a light in the chapel of Bilbrough Church, " as 
long as it shall please God to present them." 

Fairfax tomb is coYered by a black marble slab, seYen feet six inches 
long, and six inches thick, bearing the following inscription : — 



Baron of Cameron, 

who dyed November ye xir., 1671, 

in the 60th yeare of his age, 

and of anne his wife, daughter and co-heir of 

Horatio, Lord Vere, 

Baron of Tilbury. 

they had issue 

Mary, Duchess of Buckingham, 



At the west end is the coat-of-arms, Fairfax empaling Vere, and the motto 
" Fare Fac" On the sides of lighter stone are shields and military trophies, 
etc. The outside walls of the chapel 
bear the venerable stamp of age and 
the beauty of the later Gothic. 

Owing to the complicated ex- 
tent to which the great Lord 
Fairfax's estates became involved 
some time after his death, they 
were sold to satisfy the claims 
of creditors. Denton, associated 
with the earlier Fairfaxes, passed 
to the Ibbetsons ; Nun Appleton 
to the Milners; whilst Bilburgh, 
purchased by Admiral Robert Fair- 
fax, was retained in the family, to 
whom it still belongs. Before leaving 
the church we might say there is a 
tradition in this district that the Fairfax tomb. 

chapel does not contain the remains 
of \ Fighting Tom,' as the villagers still lovingly call him. Speaking to one 



of the farmers about the warrior's tomb, he remarked: "Bless ye, 'Black 
Tom' isn't buried there." "Then," said I, "where is he buried?" He 
replied : " That's what we all want to knaw, but no one can tell us." From 
my conversation with the farmer I learnt that, during the renovation of the 
church, the tomb was opened, but no remains found within. 

Another story is that the night following the interment his body was 
removed to Walton and secretly buried. Suspicion might have been lurking 
in the minds of his friends that the hero's resting-place would not be held 
sacred, especially when we consider the frequency in those times of devilish 
works of vengeance, carried beyond the bounds of all decency : when the 
graves of the most distinguished statesmen and patriots, including Blake, the 
great admiral, and even the graves of virtuous women, were desecrated. A 
more vile and despicable sacrilege the world never saw ; it reflects the blackest 
odium on the most disgraceful Court England ever knew. The rage of foul 
reprisal having passed when Fairfax died, the story of the removal of the 
body probably rests on mere tradition. 

During a chat a native of the district remarked : — " It was a sorry day 
for the family, when ' Black Tom ' was born." To my inquiry why, he said : 
" For fighting against his king and country." I explained, in a few words, 
that instead of fighting against, he fought for his country, and was, with 
Hampden and others, one of her greatest patriots. He drew his sword to 
defend the laws and liberties of the people, the great fundamental constitution 
of the land. It would have been well for England's welfare had she possessed 
more noblemen of his calibre. He replied : " Ah niver knew ' Black Tom' 
was a man ah that sort afore." 

Just on the edge of the churchyard is a dissenting place of worship, 
which certainly suggests the idea of tolerance in religious matters. 

In the meadow, immediately south of the churchyard, still remain 
vestiges of the ancient manor-house of the Nortons, afterwards the hall of 
the Fairfaxes. In this house, in 1560, Thomas, first L,ord Fairfax, was born. 
On the edge of the hill in the adjoining field is a mound, the supposed 
burying-place of an ancient British chieftain, and the hiding-place, so the 
peasantry tell us, of fabulous wealth ; doubtless this small hill district of the 
Ainsty is the focus of vast antiquity. The scene which unfolds itself to the 
eye from here is far-reaching and beautiful. On this fine elevation stands 
the new hall, lately erected by Guy Thomas Fairfax, Esq., the representative 
of the junior line of Fairfaxes. 



Bilbrough Hall contains many relics of this famous family ; amongst 
others the old chair of ' Fighting Tom,' so constructed that the sitter could 
move about the room at his convenience ; during the last years of his life, 
when suffering 
from disease, the 
result of ex- 
posure on the 
battlefield, most 
of his time was 
spent in this 
chair. After his 
death it was 
removed from 
Nun Appletonto 
Steeton, thence 
to Farnley, after- 
wards to Newton 
Kyme, and final- 
ly to Bilbrough. 

The library 
contains a mag- 
nificent family 
Bible and two 
prayer books, the 
covers richly em- 
bossed with the 
royal arms. The 
entry on the first 
leaf is in the 
handwriting of 
Ferdinando, to 
whom it was pre- 
sented by Sir 
Thomas Fairfax, 
of Denton, about 

1630. The first lord usually signed his name in a bold upright signature, 
" Tho. Fairfax," but in one or two instances, written in his youth, we have 
his monogram twice over and the family motto, " Fare fac." The great 
L,ord Fairfax, of Marston Moor and Naseby fame, writes his bold, firm 



signature, " Thomas Fairfax," on a fly-leaf, with the family motto 
characteristically changed into " Fax mea hosti fera." 

Besides his war boots and armour, the hall contains several fine portraits 
of this race and relics of the Cromwellian period. The senior line of the 
family, in the person of the sixth L,ord Fairfax, settled in America, about 
the middle of the eighteenth century, where he became possessed of a goodly 
tract of land in Virginia. The twelfth L,ord Fairfax has only lately, in 1901, 
paid a visit to the old country.* 

Rather over a mile in the direction of Tadcaster, and situated in the 
low, flat hagg lands, is the village of Catterton. It is pleasantly situated, and 
possesses, from a rural standpoint, features that are interesting pictorially. 
It was here that an aged labourer and chronicler of past events gave us 
quite a new insight into the character and exploits of " Black Tom." 
Markham says that a tract of unenclosed moor, in the early years of the 
eighteenth century, lay between the township of Bilbrough and Catterton, 
and this undefined boundary of common was the occasion of much bickering 
and frequent disputes, and culminated in a battle between the young men 
of the two places, which opened with two compact bodies of antagonists who 
gradually broke up and spread out all over the moor into separate combats 
lasting until nightfall : it was a drawn contest, darkness putting an end to 
the fight. Through the influence of Mr. Joseph Brooksbank, lord of the 
manor of Catterton and Helaugh, and Admiral Robert Fairfax, a meeting of 
the people of the two townships was arranged to take place on the moor. 
This meeting ended in another free fight, many of the villagers on this 
occasion coining from the fray with broken heads and other scars, as 
trophies of their prowess. In 1723, the feud came to an end by arrangement 
that a deep ditch should be cut down the centre of the moor, from Thwaites 
Iyane, due % soiith to the close named Escars (East Carrs) ; the work to be done 
equally by the people of the two places. This ditch can still be traced. 
Between Catterton and the Tadcaster and York highway, a good length of 
the Roman road is yet in evidence. A little beyond, the Foss-dyke passes 
under Bow Brig and so forward to the Wharfe at Hornington. 

* The writer examined the site of the new hall when the foundations were in progress, 
but there was not sufficient evidence to prove that the position in Roman times was the site 
of a properly constructed camp. The indications point rather to a British settlement and 
later to Anglo-Danish occupation. Naturally its prominence and habitable position on the 
high ground, amidst the forest and swamps of Ainsty, would render it a desirable dwelling- 
place There was no need for a Roman camp here, seeing York and, both strong 
places, were only a little over four miles away on either side. 

2— C 


Between Catterton and Helaugh, and about a mile west of Bilbrough, 
there existed, previous to the Wars of the Roses, the small village of Sandwith ; 
but, in their flight from Towton, a body of the Lancastrians turned at bay 
here, using the houses for the purpose of defence : consequently the victors 
razed the settlement to the ground, and now not a relic remains, except the 
name preserved in one farm, to tell of its former existence. A little to the 
south of this spot, and not far distant from Helaugh Manor, there is a strongly 
moated site, named Whitehall. A wide green lane leads from the Catterton 
road to the spot. The space within the trench is about sixty by fifty paces. 
From appearances a building has stood here, which, I think, the terminal 
( hall ' sufficiently explains. The situation is in a slightly sheltered hollow. 
From the absence of stone on the site, we are led to suppose the hall was of 
timber and was demolished at the same date as the raid on Sandwith. 


Iceland quaintly observes : " From Helaugh Priory, scant a mile to 
Helaugh village, there I saw great ruins of an ancient manor place of stone, 
that belonged with the fair wooded park thereby to the Earl of Northumber- 
land. It was, as far as I can perceive, some time the Haget's land." This 
testimony of Iceland is of great importance, because it settles beyond question 
the existence of a castle at Helaugh, and also that it was a building of stone. 

Helaugh — Helagh (Helegh). There is an old-world sound in the name 
of this place, which the vestiges of antiquity, still visible, fully endorse. It 
is indeed a charming village, composed of what might be termed one street of 
substantial cottages, with their garden plots and orchards bordering the 
street. Standing on a gentle eminence at the head of the village is the 
Church of St. John, screened by trees of immense growth, whose towering 
forms and far-spreading limbs add charm, grace and dignity to a picture 
whose main features present the repose of rural life. Doubtless the place is 
of Celtic founding. 

Here, in 1842, was discovered in the churchyard a broken tombstone, 
six feet below the surface (see plate) . The inscription gives two names disposed 
like those on one of the Hartlepool tombstones (to be told in the sequel). 
The name to the left is madug, certainly Celtic (whether it be Welsh 
or Scottish), as conclusively testifying to the antiquity of this monument 
being as early as the seventh century. At that time the Britons still held a 
semi-independent rule in Elmet. It was the Celtic monks, followers of 
St. Patrick, trained in Iona, who during the seventh century propagated the 
story of the Cross through all Bernicia and Deira, and even extended their 



labours as far south as the kingdom of Mercia, the dominions of the famous 
old Pagan, Penda. The inscription to the right of the stone wants but one 
letter (to correspond with those on the left) to complete hkiu, and so seeming 
to confirm this locality as St. Heiu's latest settlement. Similar tombstones 
to the one mentioned were found at Hartlepool, in 1833, whilst excavating 
in a field called " Cross Close," where the remains of a cemetery were 
discovered at a depth of about four feet. Now this ground is supposed to 
have been the site of the convent at Hartlepool, founded in the seventh 
century, at which place St. Heiu was the first abbess ; and, what is more 
strikingly significant, the characters on the tombstones, both at Helaugh 


{Edmund Bogg. 

and Hartlepool, have a close similarity to those depicted in the Celtic 
manuscript of St. Columba and his disciples of the sixth century ; and crosses 
of the same type and similarly formed to the one found at Helaugh are still 
seen in the ancient Irish monasteries. Lately an effort has been made, 
but rather a feeble one, to cast a doubt on the antiquity of the relic 
discovered at Helaugh, the knowledge of which is due to the efforts of the 
late Rev. Daniel Henry Haigh, the well-known Runic scholar. The attempt 

3 8o 


to discredit the above gentleman's reading certainly does not show on the 
surface a very deep knowledge of the subject. There is something very 
unsatisfactory in the account of the cross, u said to have been discovered" in 
Helangh churchyard by the Rev. D. H. Haigh. The inscription upon it, 
perhaps rudely cut and partly obliterated, and which Father Haigh read 
" Heiv " and " Madug," might, by another person, have been interpreted 
Heal — Haug(h) — which it very probably was. Doubtful ones say there is, 
or was, in the village of Helaugh, in an open 
space where two ways meet, what appeared to 



be the lower part of a cross, and it was said to have been used as a place 
for the exchange of money and goods at the time when the plague was 
raging in York. The cross found in the churchyard might have been the 
head of it. The attempt to upset the authenticity of Father Haigh's relic 
may bear slightly on his reading of the word Heiv, yet strangely it leaves 
totally unaccounted for the word Madug on the reverse, which is distinctly 
Welsh. " Where two ways meet" is not over indicative as to where the 
cross in evidence stood. There are two such places and each exactly at the 



opposite end of the village to the other. The stump of a cross still stands 
under the trees near the churchyard ; in olden time this was the centre of 
a large village green, and here many a gathering of merry-making 
rustics has taken place ; the ground is now enclosed. The late Rev. R. H. 
Cooke, who had been vicar of Helaugh for a quarter of a century, and 

who had interested him- 
self very greatly in the 
subject, did not entertain 
the slightest doubt about 
the antiquity of the 
tombstone, which, after 
having been reported on 
by at least two trust- 
worthy and reliable 
scholars (who were com- 
petent to judge between 
Celtic or Runic inscrip- 
tion and Old English 
characters), seems to 
have mysteriously dis- 
appeared. The question 
arises : " Where is it ?— 
was it stolen, or was it 
broken up into material 
for mending the roads ? " 

In mediaeval times 
it was considered a meri- 
torious act to steal relics : 
modern antiquaries 
are not over scrupulous 
in this respect. Regard- 
ing Father Haigh's 
derivation of the place-name from St. Heiu — Heiu's territory lega or lowry — 
we are not quite satisfied, for will his derivation apply to the similar place- 
names in different parts of Yorkshire ? Doubtless, St. Heiu, who took up 
her abode at or near Tadcaster, would be associated with the religious 
settlement at Helaugh, for there is no reason to doubt the existence of 
such a religious settlement dating from the Roman-Celtic period ; yet we 




should imagine the name more likely to be a duplication of the Anglo- 
Saxon hyl (hill), and the Norse word haugher (a high place) — the Northum- 
brian haugh ; both the prefix and affix meaning the same. The situation of 
the pre-Norman settlement on the ridge or high mound here fully bears out 
this deduction, and I think the same reasoning applies to the other places 
bearing this name. 

The approach to the church by the garden-bordered road, perfumed in 
summer with the aroma of Old English flowers, is very charming. It was in 

the spring of 1889 or '9° 

that the writer photo- 
graphed a group of 
healthy - looking village 
children in this street (see 
picture) , all of whom will 
now have arrived at the 
age of manhood. That 
simple village scene, in- 
serted in the writer's 
description of Helaugh, is 
greatly cherished by the 
parents of the children — 
now men, and scattered 
up and down the world : 
we have heard of it 
thousands of miles away 
from Wharfedale, trea- 
sured like an heirloom. 

Up the hill, under the 
trees, we pass into the 
churchyard : the sur- 
roundings delightful in 
park - like charm and 
character. The place is 
several times mentioned 
in the Domesday Book, 
in connection with 
Hagendebi and Wicheles 
(Wighill). At the Conquest, the land hereabouts was chiefly held by a Scan- 
dinavian named Tochis, from whom it passed to the Percys and Hagets, and 

[/•:. B*gg. 



from thence to the Waleys and the Depedens.* It is doubtful if this church 
occupies the site of St. Heiu's nunnery, as reported by Dr. Bright and 
Father Haigh, because Bede distinctly states that in 649 "the abbas retired 
to and fixed her abode at ' Kalecacsestir.' " Nevertheless, we have no hesi- 
tation in stating that as a heritage of Christianity it reaches beyond even 
her day. The place and its surroundings are instinct with the sentiment of 
long religious life ; the fabric is deeply interesting. It was originally dedi- 
cated to St. Helen, but centuries ago was rededicated to St. John the Baptist. 
Before the gift of the Church to the priory of Helaugh, the rector was 
presented by the Waleys, 1308-1337 ; the Stapletons, 1364-76 ; and by Sir 
William Neville, Kt., in 1385. The south doorway is a grand example of 
Norman work, of four receding arches enriched with chevron, moulding 
beak heads, and mythological figures of men and animals. Its date of erection 
is probably about 11 40. A record states that the hole in this doorway was 
caused by a trooper making it a target for his carbine when journeying 
through the village to Marston Moor fight. The corbel table is exception- 
ally interesting, with its series of grotesque and ugly heads. The chancel 
is large, equal to a small church in size. On a fine marble tomb under the 
chancel arch are the effigies of Lord Wharton and his two wives. Part of 
the inscription, translated, reads : " My family gave me my name, but my 
victorious right arm gave me my honours." This was not by any means an 
empty boast. 

The Wharton Hall on the river Eden, in the old Forest of Mallerstang, 
has belonged to this family from time beyond the date of any record extant. 
They were neighbours of the Cliffords and De Harclas, and their home was 
three miles lower down the Eden (the classic Itunia) than Pendragon Castle. 
The arms of the Whartons carved in stone are still to be seen over the great 
gate. Edward II. granted the office of bow-bearer of Mallerstang Forest to 
one Launcelot Wharton. Sir Thomas Wharton, whose tomb is under 
survey, gained the victory over the Scots at Sol way Moss, 1542. There was 
friction between the kings, Henry and James, the sequel to which is as 
follows : The Scots, numbering several thousands, made a raid into Cumber- 
land, plundering and burning the farmsteads, and the garrison of Carlisle, small 
in comparison to the enemy, dare not leave the shelter of the city walls. 

* The arms of the Depedens, benefactors to the adjoining priory in the thirteenth 
century, are to be seen in Helaugh Church, on the Whartons' tomb. Another coat, quartered 
with those of the Whartons, was also found at Steeton, the old seat of the Fairfaxes; and 
probably points to the Whartons assuming the arms, on coming into possession of the manor, 
shortly after the suppression of the monasteries. 



Towards evening, however, Sir Thomas Wharton, Lord Dacre, and Sir 
William Musgrave, having got together a few hundred men, surprised the 
Scots at nightfall near the border, the outcome of which was the skirmish 
and defeat of the Scots, known in history as the Battle of Sol way Moss. To 
add to the danger of the retreat, " the tide was flowing in and the main body 
of the Scots went forward, blindly floundering, until horsemen and footmen 
became engulfed in treacherous peaty soil, and Wharton had them at his 
mercy." A few stragglers, the remnant of the Scotch army, in the dead of 
night, reached Lochmaben Castle. The news of this disaster was the death- 
blow to King James. He fell into an apathy from which he never rallied, and 


in a few days after the event he "moaned away his life." In 1547, Sir 
Thomas again defeated the Scots at the battle of Pinkie, for which he received 
several grants of land and honours : hence the mural reference to his strong 
right arm. In 15 19 he took to wife Eleanor Stapelton, of Wighill, she dying 
several years before him ; for his second wife he married Lady Anne Talbot, 
daughter of the fifth Earl of Shrewsbury, who survived her lord for many 
In 1585, Lady Anne Wharton wills to be " buried in the quere, where 



her late good lord and husband, ye Lord Wharton, doth lye." Her good 
Lord Wharton died in 1568, and was buried in the Wharton Chapel north of 
the choir, where his effigy lies on an altar tomb, between those of his two 
wives, Eleanor and Anne, bearing the following inscription in Latin : — 

(Sous {|u)l)aitona genus, oat ^0 no res bcxieta tnctrts. 
^res JUtuitonares rea,ni finesque guberno. 
]$ina mii)i conjua-. gtapelton jubencm $leonora 
2?roIe beat; fobet Jlnna senem, stirps Qlava galoputn. 
£Tati eqnttes bint, ffjomam gussexa propago 
Jlnna facii pattern. |>tne prole ^enrtctts obibat. 
^Sinae ittoem natac, 12?enletono goanna (Snlielmo 
Jlflites 2flnsa,rapo conjn* secunoa ]£Ucaroo. 

There is in the Wharton Chapel in Kirkby Stephen Church, a conspicuous 
altar tomb, a facsimile of the one at Helaugh, on which are three recumbent 
effigies, namely those of Lord Wharton and his two wives, and bearing a 
similar inscription to the one above mentioned. In Kirkby Stephen church- 
yard there is a tombstone on which there formerly was traceable an heraldic 
shield, showing it to have been a Wharton's tomb. It was known by the 
parishioners as the " truffstone," and at this stone, time out of memory, the 
grey-coated farmers of the district assembled every Easter Monday and 
tendered to the vicar their money " in lieu of tithes of hay." The custom is 
supposed to date from, if not beyond, the dissolution of monasteries. When 
Lord Wharton purchased the advowson, the tithes of hay and corn were 
excepted from the conveyance. This custom of payment at the truffstone 
was continued here up to the year 1835. 

Reverting to Helaugh, Billy McLean, the old parish clerk, who held 
office here some thirty-five years ago, was a very original character ; one of the 
old school, and a man of consequence in the church. He led the singing and 
also gave out the hymns in a loud voice, and after the injunction, " Let us sing 
to the glory of God," Billy instantly burst into song, regardless of time and 
tune. On one occasion the time did not exactly fit and a few words remained 
to be said, which brought the singing of the parishioners to a sudden stop : 
not so with McLean, he wrestled bravely with the words, someone calling 
out : " Noo, then, thoo mun pucker 'em in somehow, Billy ! " Such are the 
stories the villagers relate of Billy. Immediately behind the churchyard 
are the foundations of what in mediaeval days was a very strong castle — the 
one referred to by L eland: " There I saw great ruins of an ancient manor 

3 86 


place of stone with a fair wooded park, that 'longed to the Earl of Northum- 
berland." The area enclosed within the moat has been very large, and 
doubtless included the church and old village green. The foundations are 
still very distinct, and the position of the two outer Bailey towers can be 
defined. The position chosen is one of the best in the district, occupying 
the high tongue of land with all the surroundings well in view. It is sup- 
posed to have originally belonged to the Bruces, ancestors of the kings of 
Scotland, and afterwards to the Percys. 

Helaugh stands 
in a fork of the two 
feeders of the Foss- 
dyke. The one to 
the east is known as 
Catterton drain, for- 
merly a dangerous 
morass, in which is 
situated Hell - hole 
or Hell-dyke. North 
of the church a path 
leads over the fields 
to Long Marstou. 

Angram lies a 
little to the east and 
possesses few fea- 
tures of interest to 
the casual observer. 
Chapel Hill denotes 
the former existence of a church, which stood there previous to its removal 
to Marston in 1400. The church of All Saints of Marstou is an ancient 
rectory belonging to the patronage of the Wyverthorps, and from them to 
the Creppings, Middletons, Nessfields, and Inglebys. In 1400 a commis- 
sion was granted to the parishioners of Marston, because their old church 
was "far distant from their habitations, and then also ruinous and necessary 
to be rebuilt," to translate the same, together with the stone thereof, from 
that place unto another chapel situate in the same parish, and there build a 
new parish church— provided that they kept up inclosed the cemetery where 
their old church stood. On the edge of moorland beyond lies the strag- 
gling village where perished the cause of the Royalists, July 2nd, 164/). 

[E. Bo-jr. 

lord wharton's tomb, kirkby Stephen church. 


From Helaugh village towards Tadcaster we pass on our right the bed 
of an old lake, and just beyond we reach Helaugh Manor, consisting of two 
farmhouses, distinguished by their names Bast and West Manor. Here, in 
pre- Reformation times, stood the Priory of Helaugh, " where monks (canons) 
their orisons and vespers sung." 

The Priory of Helaugh, of the Order of St. Austin, founded in honour 
of St. John the Evangelist, usually called " De Parco," or " Del Park," owed 
its establishment to the munificence of the Hagets of Wighill, a family of 
high feudal and social importance, to whom the neighbourhood was not a 
little indebted. Bertram Haget, a friend of Roger de Mowbray, married 
Gundreda, a lady of that family, their daughter being the Gandreda Haget 
who gave Bilton Church to Sinningthwaite about 12 10. Prime scions of the 
best families of the country these Hagets were, and right generous and 
pious withal. Galfrid Haget, son of Bertram, was the celebrated Justicer. 
Fountains, Sinningthwaite and Helaugh, each speak of their Christianity 
and charity ; the ranks of the Templars tell of their zeal, and many a battlefield 
of their knightly prowess. 

Galfrid Haget had four sisters ; Lucia married a Turet, and he obtained 
Wighill and Esedike ; another daughter married Alan Fitz-Brian, with 
whom he obtained the land of Baynton ; the third, Alice, married Sir John 
de Friston, with whom he had Helaugh. From this union of John and 
Alice came the daughter Alice, who in turn married Jordan de Sancta Maria. 
The youngest daughter, Gunfrida, had the fourth part of the heirship, to wit, 
land in Baynton and other places, but died without heir, after having become 
a nun of Sinningthwaite, her estate being divided between her surviving 
sisters. The inception of the priory appears to have been due to the efforts 
of a succession of hermits (and was known as the ' Hermitage in the Wood '), 
who had taken up their abode here when the district was still redolent of the 
sacrificial incense of the Druidic priests. Long centuries intervened— still the 
ground was too holy to be deserted ; the long-continued tradition was not to 
-be forgotten. The ' Hermitage in the Wood ' was the spark which kept alight 
the sacred flame, the greater purpose to arrive in due season. The inclination 
of the times was favourable to the endowment of monasteries, and the 
building of churches. In the latter half of the twelfth century, probably 
about 1 1 70, Bertram Haget gave the ' Hermitage in the Wood,' with liberty 
to clear the ground about it, to Gilbert, a monk in Normandy. The gift was 
apparently accompanied by the injunction to found a regular religious 
house, and soon after the priory church was built to the honour of St. John 


the Evangelist. The first steps were not marked by energetic efforts 
towards completion. It was not until about 12 18 that a convent of ' Black 
Canons' was established and endowed by Jordan de St. Maria, and Alice his 
wife, who gave the Canons all the wood contained between the Canons' foss 
(towards Wykale) and Sayrbrigg, and ingress and egress from their house up 
to the gate of Wykale (Whyhill). The gift must have been most ceremoniously 
made, for it was witnessed by Walter, Archbishop of York ; Richard, Bishop 
of Durham, Martin de Pateshull, William Fitz-Richard and Roger Huscarle, 
justices itinerant, Hamo, the Dean and Chapter of York, John of Fountains 
and Richard of W T elbeck, abbots, and many local magnates. Though the 
priory was started with such an air of aristocracy its fortunes were not very 
progressive ; retrogressive, we think, would be a better appellation — for in less 
than two centuries the establishment was in a sorry plight. 

On the 25th January, 1354, an ( Indulgence ' of forty days was granted in 
behalf of the monastery of Helaugh Park, which was in great decay. It seems 
to have been more or less rebuilt about this time, under the priorate of 
Richard de Eavington, who was also serving as vicar of Wighill ; this Order 
allowing the canons to act as secular priests, and at least two of his successors 
held similar offices. Prior Peter Kendale was appointed rector of St. Edward's 
in Walmgate, York, 14th February, 1504. Richard Roundale, the last prior 
of Helaugh, was appointed vicar of Leathley by dispensation, 20th March, 
1520. He appears to have held the office until 1548. The Church of 
Helaugh, the patronage of which, as a rectory, had remained with the 
Hagets, the Waleys and the Depedens, was given to the Prior and Convent 
by Sir John Depeden and Elizabeth his wife, 24th October, 1397. On the 
5th February, 1398, Richard, Archbishop of York, appropriated it to the 
monastery; ordaining that the prior and convent should supply and keep for the 
service of this church two of their canons in regular priest's orders, over and 
above the number of five other priests, canons regular of their house, who 
should celebrate, daily, divine service at the altar of St. John the Evangelist 
and St. Anne for the good estate of Sir John Depeden and Elizabeth his 
wife during their lives ; and after their decease, for their souls' weal. They 
should also celebrate their obits yearly on the days of their deaths, exequies 
of the dead, commendation and solemn mass in the quire of their conventual 
church, and in each of these obits distribute to the poor parishioners of the 
church thirteen-pence sterling. The first canon presented under this 
appropriation was Frater Peter de Brysdale, 31st January, 1399. 

We do not know much of the ' funeral pomp ' of this institution, but we 
may reconstruct from it a solemn image of the monotonous ' lip service ' 


money could buy in the days of Romanism. Whether the Hagets made it 
their place of burial is not recorded. Stephen Waleys, by will proved in 
1347, ordered his body to be buried in the priory. Sir John Depeden, 
Lord of Helaugh, by will proved in 1402, ordered his body to be buried in 
the midst of the quire of the priory church. That old valiant knight, who 
brought such glory and renown to Stapiltons — Sir Brian — the man who slew 
the Saracen, died at Wighill, full of years and honour, July, 1394. The last 
request of Sir Brian commences : 

" In the name of God, amen, I, Brian de Stapilton, devise my soul to God and 
our Lady Saint Mary and all the Saints of Paradise, and my poor {chauvre — naked, bald, 
hairless) body to be buried in the Priory of the Parke (Helaugh) beside by wife, which 
may God absolve." " And over my body a pall of blue cloth (un drape de bleusage), 
and my wish is by God's help to have a 'herce' with five tapers, each of five pounds 
weight —thirteen torches. And if the torches are not burnt out, four are to remain at 
the prior}-, two are to go to the church at Wighill, two to the church at Helaugh, one to 
Newton (le Willows near Bedale), one at Thorpe Arch, two to the chapel of St. Catheirue 
at Tadcaster, and two to Synningthwaite." Then the dying knight, remembering his 
career in siege and battle, does will and devise, "that I have a man dressed in my 
armour with my helm upon his head, and that he be well mounted, and a man of 
good stature, whatever his condition in life may be. All my servants to be dressed in 
blue at my expense. And. all the poor who come to my funeral, to have penny-dole 
{chescac un denier en ouvrage de charite) in aid of my poor soul. And I wish the lords, 
my companions, allies, and neighbours, who choose to come and pray for me, and 
do honour to my poor body, to be made well at ease and to have enough to drink (q'il 
eient a boire assez). And for this purpose I devise 101 marks [more than ^1,000 now- 
adays], 13/4 to each of the Orders in York, and to the Friars of Beverley, Scarborough, 
Doncaster, Pontefract, Richmond, Alleitou and Cardell, to chauut [masses] for me as 
soon as possible after my death, whether it happen by day or night." 

Iyike Chaucer's model : 

He was a verray parfit, gentil knyght, 

But for to tellen yow of his array ; 

His hors weren goode, but he lie was nat gay ; 

Of fustain he wered a gypon 

Al bismotered with his habergeon. 

For he was late y-come from his viage, 

And went for to door his pilgrymage. 

It is unfortunate that we cannot recover more of these monumental 
evidences of a past that had much grandeur, for the long line of gentility 
must have been better represented than records shew. Culpable neglect and 
wanton destruction must have overtaken too many of them. 

In 1425, the dean and chapter made declaration, that the vicar shall 
receive his victuals, clothing, &c, and this the vicar shall receive of the 
prior, ^5 per annum at Pentecost and Martinmas, and shall have for habita- 
tion the house in Helaugh, and half the garden on the east side of the town ; 



and that the priory and convent shall bnild their own house with six posts 

for kitchen and stables, and 
a well and way to zt, and the 
vicar shall be content there- 
with ; and not receive fruits, 
plants, or other emoluments 
appertaining to the church. 

The personnel of the 
prior) r was in number very 
small, its revenues in value 
according therewith. About 
the time of the dissolution 
the home contained fourteen 
canons, whose yearly revenue 
amounted to £j2 ios. yd. ; 
according to Dugdale, to 
;£86 5s. 9d. Such an in- 
come, even though it might 
be supplemented by a hand- 
some return in kind from 
the domain, could only have 
been that of a poor and mean 
establishment, incapable of 
producing any notable 
result. What became of the 
canons we do not know. 
In 1553 annuities to the 
amount of £1 13s. 6d. were 
paid out of the estate, * 
which is entirely too insignificant to represent any clerical pensions. The 
monaster}- was granted, Henry VIII., 1560, to James Gage, together with the 
vicarage of Helaugh. If Gage were not a mere huckster of monastic lands, 
he was the ' factor ' of some other person, for in the same year the King grants 
to the same James Gage, his leave to alienate the said premises to Sir Arthur 
Darcy and his heirs. 

The priory chapel is now entirely destroyed. Fragments, in form of 
Early English caps and bases, are to be seen in the building of the west 
farm of the'priory, built on some forty years ago. Some sixteen years ago, as 

[£. Bogg. 



the vicar of Helaugh was looking over the remains of the priory, he dis- 
covered, inside a cattle shed, a portion of the west wall of the south aisle of 
the Karly English church of 12 18 ; the remains of the kitchen and bakery 
departments are to be seen in the building used as a barn. The south-west 
farm was only built some fifty years ago ; yet its appearance gives the idea of 
far greater age, caused by the use of the old materials from the priory. 
The door-stone of the last house was once a body stone in the floor of the 
priory chapel, and on it may still be seen the name of one of the Depedens : 

11 Orate pro anima 

Robert Depeden." 

In pre-Norman days, the Ainsty district was wild forest land, and the 
site of Bossall was a town (where old Bossall field now is) situate on the 
eastern border of the forest track, extending for many miles on each side of 
York, the haunt of outlaws and wild animals, the deer, the wild boar, the 
wolf, and the wild cat. Tradition says that in the old time, near Tadcaster, 
there was a hand-to-hand fight between a huge wild cat and an unarmed 
forester, who after a long struggle with the ferocious beast, succeeded in 
killing it, but afterwards died of his wounds. An old chapel attests the fact. 
Query : Where did this cell stand ? — was it the Hermitage in the Wood, 
or the rude structure where afterwards the infirm man dwelt, near to 
Tadcaster Town ? The subject will be continued under Tadcaster (Vol. II.) 




Aire, River - - 47, I2 6, 266 

Ancient Animals - - - 1 

Ancient Seas - - - 2, 16 

Ancient Birds ... 3 

Ainsty ... 8, 18, 265, 266 
Aldborough Pavement - - 12 

Aberford - - - - 15, 16, 20 

Angles, The - - 17, 25, 28, 29 

Agricola - - - - 17 

Adel - 21, 23, 53, 57, 58, 59. 62, 63, 109 
Aldwoodley - 21, 22, 53, 57, 64, 109 

Athelstan - - 29, 199, 234, 359 

Antiquities 61, 77, 166, 250, 252, 256, 272, 

318, 319 
Arinley - - - - 73 

Austhorpe - - - - i*5 

Almshouses - 124 

Aberford - 124, 128, 135, 157, 158, 160, 162 

Animal Fidelity 

230, 231 

Acclom (fam.) - 232, 

299' 301 > 302 

i£gir, The - 


Acaster Selby - 271, 

292, 297, 304 

Appletou Roebuck - 274, 

291, 293, 295 

Acaster Malbis - 

- 303. 305 

Abbeys ... 

238, 328 

Anthony's Hall, St. 

- 348 


363, 364 

Askham Bog 

- 364, 367 

Askham Bryan 


Anthony, St. 

- 350, 351 

Black Fen - 


Benedict, St. 

- 236 

Bolton Percy 250, 270, 271, 

274, 275, 276, 

290, 291 


- 265 

Brumber Grange - 


Brockett (Hall and fam.) 

274. 293, 294 

Beckett (fam.) 


Baile Hill - 310, 

337, 34i, 346 

Bootham Bar 


Basys (fam.) 

- 373 

Briggate - - 73, 

75, 77, 79, 80 

Botany 108, 130, 138, 139, 

t88, 189, 208, 

252, 256, 257, 

294, 301, 326 



116, II' 


- ne 

Blands, The 


Broth erton 

- 131 

Byram Hall - 


Barnbow - 

'34, 13$ 

Belfry, Old - 



180, 212 

Bishop Hill - 


Burton, John 

- 33< 

Bondbridge Farm - 


Barkston Ash 

- 21c 


- 212, 215, 21* 


- 216, 222, 227, 22J 

Brayton Barf 



2l8, 222 


- 225, 306, 30^ 

Bowett, Archbishop 

- 22 = 

Boggart Brig 

234, 23t 

Brigantes 6, 7, 8, 12, 17, 43, 49, 56, 61, 12^ 
Bronze Weapons ic 

Barwick-in-Elmet 15, 16, 17, 20, 32, 50 
72, 121, 123, 140, 142, 150, 15^ 
Bearruc - - - - 16, 144 

Becca Banks - - 16, 18, 157, 163 

Bramham - 17, 20, 21, 22, 152, 165 

Blubberhouse Moor - - - 2] 

Brandon - - - - 21, 5^ 

Blackmoor - - - 21, 55, 5^ 

Bilburgh - 25, 266, 269, 29 t, 367, 371 
Bede, The Venerable 26, 32, 38, 47, 51 
72, 100, 313, 381 
Brunanburgh 29, 31, 51, 75, 197, 199, 22c 
Brumby - - - - 32 

Bernicia 4/ 

Breary - - ~ - 53, 5t 

Bramhope - - - - 53 

Buckingham, Duke of 54, 164, 288, 29L 

336, 33S 
Burley Grove - - - -7c 

Cookridge - ■ - - 53, 54, 5* 

Calcaria - - - - - 6] 

Chevin .... 6= 

Call-way - - r - - 75 


Crosses, Templars', etc. 78, 115, 123, 145, 
148, 166, 187, 191, 203, 256 
Castle of Leeds - - - - 81 

Chapeltown - - - 91, 92, 93 

Cobble Hall - - - ' - 94 

Colton - - 113, 114, 270 

Colyson, Robt. (Will of) - - 115 

Calder, River - - - 125 

Cuckoo (bird) -•-.-.» 154 
Coins, Old - - - - 166 

Clifford, Lord - - 195, 346, 383 

Catterton - 270, 377 

Clementhorpe - 308, 310 

Clifton - - - 326, 327 

Collins, Wilkie - 339 

Copmanthorpe ... 365 

Chair of Fairfax ... 376 

Celtic Earthworks 7 

Cartismandua - - - 10, 11 

Caractacus - - - - 10, n 

Castleford - 13, 14, 20, 125, 126, 127 

Cock, River 13, 15, 16, 20, 47, 134, 136, 
156, 169, 184, 256 
Craw, River - - - 15, 161 

Cambodunum - - 20, 100 

Claro - - - - 25 

Cawood 29, 30, 217, 219, 222. 224, 227, 
231, 232, 234, 242, 306 
Celts - - - - 30, 126 

Cerdic - - - 35, 38 

Cearl 37 

Cadwallader - 38, 42, 45, 100, 313 

Coifi - - • - 39, 41 

Camden - 40, 43, 5°, 160, 177, 265, 333 
Crida 41 

Cadvan - - z - - 42 

Crossgates - - - - 48, 98 

Constantine - - 52, 219, 323 

Devil's Arrows ... S 

Danes, The - - 17, 29, 241, 343 

Deira - - 26, 27, 33, 42, 44, 318 

Danish Cross - - - -33 

Domesday Book 79, 98, 120, 216, 270, 

271, 338 
Darnley, Lord - - - - 113 

Dodsworth - - - 118 

Danum (Doncaster) - - 124, 125 

Despenser (fam. ) - - 141, 198 

Dawson, Billy ... - 149 

Dacre, Lord - 187, 188, 190, 191, 195 

Dintingdale - - 193, 195, 196 

Drake (historian) - - - 265 

Devil's Door .... 275 
Denton - - - - 289 

Dringhouses .... 365 
De Arches (fam.) - - - 370 

Davy Hall, Davygate - - - 359 

Earthworks - 15, 17, 46, 164, 166, 186 

Eastdale Beck - - - - 16 

Ermine Street - 20, 122, 124, 134 

Eltofts - - - » - 22 

Engles 27 

Edwin -35, 38, 40, 43, 51, 100, 103, 312 
Ethelfrith - - 36, 38, 42, 126 

Elmet 24. 25, 37, 48, 49, 53, 7*. "7. 122, 

T23, 146, 197 
Echope (Eccup)- - 55, 56, 57, 59 

Elmete Hall 93 

Ellis (fam.) - - - 147, 152 

Eagre, The ... - 243 

Etty, W. 327 

Escars (East Carrs) - - 377 

Fossil Footprints - - 3, 4 

Fenton - 25, 212, 213, 215, 243 

Franks, The - - - - 58 

Foundry Mill - - - 97, 109 

Fairfax (fam.) 113, 168, 268, 269, 270, 276, 286, 
288, 291, 295, 304, 336, 365, 372, 374, 375, 376 
Fonts - - 130, 214, 231, 272 

Fair burn - - - - 131 

Ferrybridge - - - 131 

Fryston, Monks' - - - 209 

Flowers, Wild - - 257 

Fenland, The - - - 211, 234 

Feast, Celebrated - - - 223 

Fleet Dyke - 246, 280, 292, 295 

Fielden (fam.) - - - 256 

Fulford - - - - - 307 

Foss, River - - - 311, 341, 377 

Fawkes (fam.) - - - 322, 33 2 

Fish Window - - - 3 6 9 

Geology - - - - 4, 5, 278 

Grassington - - - - 7, 18 

Godmudham - - - 39, 3 lS 

Giptou - - 46, 73, 94, 95, 114 

Grimes-dyke - - 48, 134, *35 

Gascoigne (fam.) 58, 138, 147, 160, 168, 
194, 251, 268, 307 
Garforth - - - 119, J 33 

Gray (fam.) - - - - 136 

Gawthorpe - - - 141, 251 

Goblin Tree - - -233 

Gipsy King - - - - 233 

Garman-carr - - - 234 

Grimston - 252, 253, 254, 268 

Grim (fam.) - - - - 254 

Gent, Thomas - - - 357, 358 

Galtres, Forest of - - - 361. 

Hungate - 187, 192, 194, 275, 351, 357 

Hammond (fam.) - - - 192 

Hunchel (fam.) - - - 204 

Hilda, St. - - 236 

Harold, King - - - 240 

Humber, River - 241 

Hubberholme - - - 245 

Hagioscope - - - 248, 300 


Hylda, Sister 
He worth Green 
Hieu, St. 
Hartlepool - 
Hatfield Chase - 
Hook Moor - 
Hall Tower Hill 
Huddlestou - 
Hedley Bar - 


- 270 


- 307 

- 379. 381 

- 37«, 379, 380 

14- 43 

- 15, 1 61 

15, 142, 144 

16, 204, 226 
20, 50, 172, 174, 176 

- 20, 164 

Helaugh 25, 216, 378, 380, 386, 387, 388, 390 
Hereric .... 37 

Heatjifield - - 45, 100 

Halton - - 46, 99, 100, 101 

Hell-dyke - - - - 48 

Hungerhills 48 

Helena, Empress - 52, 64, 299 

Headingley - 67, 68, 69 

Harrison, John - - - - 86 

Hastings, Lady Betty - - 130 

Hick, Sammy - - - 132, 159 

Hope, Canon - - - 142 

Tsurium - - - - 17, 20 

Inus, Old 66, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85. 101, 102, 
165, 210, 331, 338, 349, 353, 357 
Ingram's Hall - - - 95, 113 

Ivy House .... 104 

Ingram, Aims of - - - 112 

Julius Cresar - - 9. 11 

Janus Cross .... 203 
Jackdaw Crag (Quarry) 
Jacky Fowler - 229 

Jewbury - - - - 340 

Jacobean Porch - - - 371 

Kippax 8, 15, 28, 73, 119, 120, 121, 123, 124 
Kirk Deighton - - - - 25 

Kirkby Overblow 25 

Kirkstall (Abbey, etc.) 52, 53, 55, 79, 84. 92 
Killingbeck - - 73, 99, 101 

Kirkgate - - 79, 81, lor 

Knights of St. John - - 8o, no 

King Charles - - - - 88 

Kitchingmau 92 

Knowesthorp - 105 

Kuostrop Hall ... io 6 

Kidhall (or Kiddle) - - 150, 152 

Kelfield ... 242, 301 

Kirkby Wharfe - - - 254, 255 

Kidcote - - . - 334 

Knavesmire .... 363 
Leeds 8, 21, 28, 32, 45, 48, 71, 72, 75, 76, 
81, 82, 85, 86, 90, 101, 126 
Legeolium - - - 13, 124 

Lotherton - 16, 50, 165, 167, 168, 169 
Lead - - 16, 49, 169, 170, 180 

Laci, Ilbert de 
Lennox, Duke of 
Lowthers, The 
Leathers, The 



49, 129, 130, 131 

49, iai, 128, 129 

49, 129 

■ 79, 191 

- 113 

- 118 
137, 138 

Leland 169, 252, 266, 305, 317, 335, 350, 378 
Lumby .... 209 

Little Fenton - - - - 215 

Lychuoscope - - - 300 

Lendal - - . - - 331 

Leet (Courts) - - - 229 

Londesborough (fain.) - - - 256 

Micklefield .... 132 

Morwick Hall - - - - 136 

Maypoles - . - - 146 

Morritt, Mary - 149 

Markham, Sir C. - - - 157 

Mayden Castle - - 180, 182, 185 

Milford, South - - 209, 210 

Montaign, Archbishop - - 224, 232 

Moreby (fam.) - - 232, 301, 302 

Molehills ..... 243 
Malet (fam.)- - - 271, 341 

Malibiss (fam) - - 275, 292, 347, 365 

Marvell, And. - - 288 

Miluer (fam.) ... - 298 

Micklegate - - - 335, 342, 345 

Merchant Adventurers' Hall - 356, 357 
Middleton (fam.) - - 366 

Milestone, Roman - - 14, 64 

Map of Roman Roads, etc. 19. 74, 164, 293 
Mercians - - - - 28, 43 

Morgan's Cross - - 37, 46, 154 

Market Weighton - - - 40 

Monks, British 42 

Maserfeld (battle) • - - 45 

Manston - . -45, 134, 136 

Manor Garth - - - 46. 154 

Meanwood 53, 58, 65 

Moortown - - - 65, 93 

Mowbray, Arms of - - 77 

Mill Hill - - - 81, 89 

Moot Hall .... 83 

Middleton - - - - n [ 

More, John - - - - 116 

Multure - - - - 120 

Mary Panuell Hill - - - 128 

Minster, York - - 312, 315, 317, 319 

Newton Kyme - - - 20, 269 

Norse Cross - - - - 32 

Nennius - - - - 38, 72 

Norman Porch at Adel - - 60 

Newspapers (Early) . - 88, S9, 166 

Newton - - - - - 131 




Noverley (fam.) 


Railway Station of York - - 344 

Nevison - 

- 166 

Roman Invasion 6, 9, 13, 16, 126, 211, 

Neville (fam.) 168, 218, 22c 

, 223, 269, 275 

266, 345 


- 179 

Roman Roads 15, 18, 20, 22, 23, 58, 73, 

Newthorpe - 


163, 363, 377 


- 216 

Rudgate - - - - 20 

Nun Appleton 216, 245, 

269, 280, 281, 

Roman Relics - 23, 26, 27, 166, 185, 268 

282, 284, 289 

Regulus .... 32 

Nidd, River 

- 265 

Raedwald - - - 39, 103 


301, 302, 369 

Ripley 49 

Normans, The - 

361, 378, 382 

Roman Camps - 57, S9, 280, 303, 377 

Nortons (fam.) 

372, 373 

Rockley Hall - " - 72, 82, 83 


- 9 

Rawdon - - - - 73 

Old Manston 


Red Hall - - - - 88, 134 


- 21 

Roundhay Park - - - 93; 94, 96 

Otley - - - 29, 30, 

146, 218, 234 

Rath, The - - ■ 122 


- 43 

Roach Grange - - - - 122 


- 45, 313 

Raikes Beck - - - 143, 145 

Oswy - 

45, 47 

Ricarius, St. - - 158 



Reckett (or Rackett), The - - 208 

Oak, Skyrack 

68, 69 

Ryther 172, 198, 242, 243, 245, 247, 249, 


100, 103 

251, 255, 270, 285 

Ouse, River 126, 225, 231, 233 

. 238, 242, 244, 

Renshaw Wood - 180, 183, 185, 186, 188 

265, 266, 268, 297, 301, 307 

, 312, 327, 3£>3 

Rein (or Rine) - - - 166 

Olaf, St. - 


Scrope (fam.) - - 269, 275. 294, 307 


- 252 

Stillingfleet - - 298, 299, 300, 302 



Stonegate - - - 337, 357 

Osbern de Arches 

- 271 

Skeldergate - - - 338, 346 

Pack-horse Roads 

- 66 

Shambles, York - - 359, 360 

Potterton - - 16, 46, 

150, 154, 155 

Sandwith (the Lost Village) - 378 


- 28 

Street Lane - - - - 93 


38, 40, 318 

Shadwell .... 109 

Penda - 41. 43, 45, 48, 

135, 137, 379 

Scargills, The - 108, 115, 169, 198 



Smeaton, John - - - 115 

Parisees - 

- 49 

Soc - - - - - 120 

Pagenel, M. (Charter of) ■ 


Stourton Grange - - - 132 


- 91 

Shippon ----- 138 

Paynes, The 


Superstitions 146, 153, 155, 208, 234, 243 

Preston, Gt. 

118, 119 

Saxton - - - 179, 180, 196 



Stutton .... 185 


139, 140, 161 

Salley (fam.) - - - 192, 193 



Steetou Hall 207, 268, 269, 270, 275, 294 

Peter's Post 

- 177 

Scarthingwell - - - 210 

Porches - 6o, 348, 349, 

37o, 37i, 382 

Saxons (the coming of) - - 220 

Priory of Helaugh 

- 387, 390 

Selby - - 230, 236, 237, 238, 239 

Pepper, Old - 


Scalm Park .... 234 

Percy (fam.) - 246, 269, 

271, 275. 284 

Storr, William - - - 234 

Plumpton (fam.) 


Stamford Bridge (battle) - - 240 

Palms (fam.) 

302, 303, 346 

Shillito (fam.) - - - 252 

Peckett, Wm. 


Skip -bridge .... 266 


- 41 

Stone Implements - - 4, 7 

Quarry Hill - 


Silures - - - - 9, io 

Quarries, Old 

117, 205, 226 

St. Helen's Ford 20 

Quinton, Adeliza - 


Swillington - - 20, 116, 117, 119 

Rest Park 

- 218 

Stanks - - - 20, 45, 48, 137 


220, 238, 241 

Scholes - - - 20, 45, 116, 137 

Redman, Sir Rd. 


Seacroft - - 20, 97, 134 

Raine, Canon • - 


Scarcroft - -. 21, 22, 249, 251, 346 




Stubbing Moor 


Villa Regia .... 100 

Saxon Relics 23, 30, 31, 46 

129, I48, 248 

Vevers (fam.) • - - 137 

Sherburn 25, 29, 51, 146, 

195. 197, 198, 

Vavasour (fam.) 141, 147, 171, 173, 192, 

200, 203, 306 

198, 217, 275, 366 


- 43 

Valvasor, Office of - - 171, 172 

St. Hilda - 


Vine Cottage .... 214 

Skyrack - 

67, 120 

Valcaster - - - 280, 292 

St. Gildas - 


Wetherby - • - - - 265 


- 73 

Wilstrop .... 265 

Soke Mill - 

80, 228, 230 

Wharfe, River 265, 267, 268, 279, 284, 297 


- 81 

Woolas ... - 296 

Tombs - 246, 247, 

323, 374, 384 

Wilfrid 313 


265,. 271 

Walls of York ■ - 340, 343, 353 

Thwaites, Isabel 


Walmgate - - - 347, 348 

Trussbut (fam.) 

- 298 

Wellbeloved, Chas. - - 357 

Thornton, John 


Wharton, Lord - - - 383, 384 

Trinity Window 

• 334 

Whip-ma, Whop-ma-gate - 361 

Thursday Market - 


Whitehall - - . . 378 

Torre (the historian) - 

- 366 

Wendel Hill - - 15, 51, 144 

Turpiu, Dick 


Walton ..- 20, 25, 265 

Tadcaster - 18, 61, 

186, 253, 367 

Wistow - 29, 30, 218, 228, 233, 235 



Wittenagemot - - - - 39 

Thorner - 

21, 22, 117 

Whinmoor 45, 46, 48, 96, 98, 109, 115, 

Thridwulf - - 46 

50, 101, 155 

134. 153 

Tingwald Hill - 

- 65 

Whitkirk 45, 79, 94, 102, H4, 115, 116 

Thoresby - 73, 77, 81 

90, II9, 29O 

Winwsed Field (battle) - 46, 48, 50, 96 

Templars - - 78 

, 80, I IO, 112 

Weeping Cross - - - - 49 


80, IO9, 115 

Wade, Marshal 85 

Timble Bridge - 

- 80 

Wykebeck - - - 93, 94, 97 


I07. IO8 

Wyke-brig House 98 

Thorp Hall 

- I08 

Woodlesford - - - - 118 

Towton - - 135, 

179, l86, I90 

Wheler (fam.) - - - 129 


• M7. 273 

Wells - - - 137, 139, 351 

Teyes, or Tyas (fam.) 


Water-mills - 209 


• 177 

Wharfedale, Lower - 211, 253, 265 

Towton Moor (battle) 

l8l, 182, 183 

Wolsey, Cardinal - - 220, 223 

Tumulus - 

144, l88 

Wheel Hall - - - - 239 

Tosti and Hardrada 

24O, 24I 

York 17, 24, 36, 62, 128, 309, 314, 320, 324, 

Ulleskelf - 

25. 252, 253 

334- 335, 34o, 346, 352, 362, 368 


3l8, 319 

Yorkshire Philosophical Society 330, 331 

Venutius - 

IO, II, 12, l8 

Zoology - - - 154, 367, 391 



List of Subscribers. 

Ackernley, M., Ship Hotel, Skipton 

Adams, John F., Preston 

Acomb, Lewis, Cawood 

Atkinson. Edward, Harrogate 

Atkinson, Rev. E., M.A., London 

Aspinall, Rev. J. E. , Halifax 

Ash worth, Lewis, Burnley 

Ashton, R., Blackburn 

Atkinson, G. W., Leeds 

Allan, Arthur S-, Wetherby 

Archery, K , Pateley Bridge 

Addy, J. W., Butcher, Aberford 

Atkinson, Samuel, Wakefield 

Ackroyd, Geo., Jun., Bradford 

Aspinall, Rev. G. R., Halifax 

Allbutt, Dr. A , Leeds 

Bennett, G. C., Tadcaster 

Benson, J. VV., Ilkley 

Brotherton, Geo., Tailor, 13, Beech Hill, Otley 

Brodie, Mr. , Leeds 

Batters, A. C, Bradford 

Brownhill, W. S., Leeds 

Barker, Edgar, Cleckheaton 

Broadhead, C A., Leeds 

Brown, Councillor J. B., Hebden Bridge 

Beilby, David, Havves 

Bull, Fredk. Wm., Leicester 

Bland, J. A, Burnsall 

Bonsor, Fannie, Threshfield 

Birdsall, Samuel, Skipton 

Burlend, Benjamin, Ilkley 

Brown, J. T., Hawes 

Bishop, James, Old George Hotel, Skipton 

Bromley, Charles, Goole 

Brown, Richard, Stockport 

Bell, George, Bradford 

Browne, Rev. Joseph, Blockton 

Barber, John, J. P., Harrogate 

Barller, Edmund, Madron, Heamoor 

Benson, Geo., York 

Byers, Geo. W. , Harrogate 

Banister, O., Frizinghall 

Bulmer, L., Roundhay 

Bower, John \V., Albion Brewery 

Bailey, Charles, Manchester 

Banks, Walter N., York 

Briggs, E. Bower, Ilkley 

Barber, Geo., Meanwood 

Brown, R. H., Leeds 

Bruce, C, Leeds 

Boden, J. G., Ilkley 

Blakeborough, A., Ilkley 

Brogden, Rob., Coach Builder, Ilkley 

Bennington, Henry, Wakefield 

Bottomley. Albert, Leeds 

Bogg, W. G., Manningham 

Braithwaite, W. S., Leeds 

Barker, J. H., Horsforth 

Brigg, B. S., J. P., Keighley 

Brook, Sam B., Menston 

Barker, E.. Cleckheaton 

Burton Denby, Mr., Whinmoor 

Burgess, J. W. R., Leeds 
Braham, Harry, Garforth 

Beecroft, Fred, Fewston 

Bramley, J. M., Otley 

Bramley, Claudia, Fewston 

Burgess, Robert M., Leeds 

Butterfield, N. W., Bradford 

Birn, Sigmund, London 

Briggs, George, Cleckheaton 

Bakewell, Wm., Leeds 

Brown, Fred, Scholes 

Bland, E., Bradford 

Brooks, Uriah, Bingley 

Broadhead, C. A., Jeweller and Silversmith, 
14 and 16, Wells Road, Ilkley 

Bruce, J. E , Otley 

Bruce, Samuel, Wakefield 

Bethell, William, Hull 

Barrett, R. B., Skipton Castle 

Bell, Dr. John J., 40, Marlboro' Road 

Colman, F. S., Barwick-in-Elmet 

Connelly, S., Ilkley 

Croft, Percival K„ Dudley Hill 

Chrystal, R. S., Manchester 

Chapman, B., Holbeck 

Clayton, Mrs., Skipton 

Cockerill, Mr., Kettlewell Vicarage 

Crampton, W. T., Roundhay 


Clarke, Hugh, Catch -AH Inn, Skipton 

Chapman, James A., Skipton 

Cooper, G. E., Harrogate 

Cruickshank, Mr., Harrogate 

Craggs, Robt. P., Ilkley 

Clarkson, G H., 12, Ashland Terrace, Ilkley 

Cragg, R. B., Skipton 

Carter, Wm., Leeds 

Carter, Walter, Skipton 

Chappell, T. R., Leeds 

Cook, Henry, Ripon 

Crowther, W., Derby 

Cotton, T. A., J.P., F.L.S., Bishopstoke 

Cawthorne, J. G., Leeds 

Carter, F. R., Potternewton 

Crowther, Mr., Grassington (3 copies) 

Cheeseman, Mr., Selby 

Cruse, D. A., Leeds 

Cullingworth, Mr., Chapeltown 

Clapham, J., Shipley 

Carter, F. R., Potternewton 

Craven, F. D., Guiseley 

Carter, J., Southport 

Cliff, W., Thorner 

Cooper, C, North View Hotel, Ilkley 

Cousin, J. D., Shipley 

Chambers, H. W., Sheffield 

Chippendale, Arthur, Scholes 

Chrystal, Mr., Manchester (2 copies) 

Champney, John E., J, P., London 

Campbell, Dr. H. J., M.D., Bradford 

Clarke, William, Stockton-on-Tees 

Dacre, K., Otley 

Dabs, H. C, Burnsall 

Denison, John, Collingham 

Dobson, Jabez. Ilkley 

Dean, A. E., Ilkley 

Donadlson, Wm. , Cabinet Maker, Abbey Street, 

Dalton, H., Ilkley 
Dempster, Geo., Ilkley 
Davis, A. H., M.A., Ilkley 
Dixon, G. W., Ship Inn, Ulleskelf 
Dickson, J., Headingley 
Dibb, Edwin, Guiseley 
Dennett, John, Greyhound Inn, Saxton, nr. 

Demaine, Henry, Hopper Lane Hotel, 

Fewston, nr. Otley 
Dean, Wm., Ilkley 
Dufton, Dr. Henry T., Brockford 
Dyson, J. H., Elland 
Dalby, R. Alex., Leeds 
Everitt, Wm., Ilkley 
Ellwood, Rev. J. E., Hawes Vicarage 
Emmott, Thomas, Stoney Lea Hydro., Ilkley 
Earnshaw, J., Bingley 
Evans, G., Leeds 
Edmondson, James, Barnoldswick 

Elliott, Robert, Otley 

Evans, Mrs. Bernard. Unicorn Hotel, Ripon 

England, J., Sherburn-in-Elmet 

Earnshaw, J., Bingley 

Farnell,*Geo., Skipton 

Ferrari, Louis, Leeds 

Foster, Mrs. J., Buckden 

Fisher, T. W., Leeds 

Fry, Wm. , Shipley 

Finister, Mr., Leeds 

Frankland, G., Yeadon 

Foster, Wm., Leeds 

Fawthrop, Joseph, Bradford 

Ford, John Rawlinson, Weetwood 

Fytche, Lewis, F.S.A., Freshwater Bay, Isl 

of Wight 
Fearnley, Fairfax, Chemist and Optician, 16S 

Chapeltown Road, Leeds 
Farrar, Ramsden, Roundhay 
Fisher, T. C, Addingham 
Gaythorpe, Wm., Angel Hotel, Wetherby 
Goodall, T. W., Bingley 
Gray, Thomas, Headingley 
Gill, John, Skipton 
Gaunt, J. W., Bramley 
Green, G. C, Ilkley 
Gledhill, Benj., Morley 
Grisdale, Mr., Roundhay 
Gibson, A. Metcalfe. Ravenstonedale 
Gutch, Mrs. Eliza, York 
Gray, Thos., York 
Gains, J. E., Kippax 
Greenwood, Arthur, Leeds 
Guildhall Library London, E.C. 
Gledhill, Albert F., Leeds 
Gunter, Sir Robert, Bart., M.P., Wetherb 

George, J. T., Guiseley 
Gowland, Geo., Otley 
Gough, Wm., Barwick-in-Elmet 
Greenwood, Wm., Crosshills 
Garner, W. V., Leeds 
Geeghan, J.. Burley 
Gell, T., Draper and Umbrella Manufacturer 

27, Brook Street, Ilkley 
Goodfellow, J. C.i Hawick 
Grimshaw, R. A., Crossgates 
Horsman, Henry, Leeds 
Hood, John. Ilkley 
Harrison, Wm.. Ilkley 
Horsman. B. W., Leeds 
Hagar, T. W., Ironmonger, 33, High Street 

Hogg, Mrs. C, Leeds 
Ilolliday, J. W., Tadcaster 
Holliday, W. H., Tadcaster 
Horner, Mrs. Joseph, Horner Chapel Lodge 
Haselwood, Mrs., late Kettlewell Vicarage 
Hearder,T. Browne, Ilkley 


Hall, Wm, Bradford 

Hiscock, T., Printer, Hawes 

Horner, Mrs., Anglers' Hotel, Kilnsey, via 

Haley, Arthur, Bradford - . . 

Hodgson, Mrs., Refreshment Rooms, Kettle- 

Heap, Fred, Cunliffe Road, Ilkley 

Houldsworth, Joseph, Ilkley 

Hull, John H., Tadcaster 

Hargreaves, J. A., VVetherby 

Hill, James H., Tadcaster 

Hardy, Wilfrid, Leeds 

Hebden, A. W., Stutton 

Hall, Carby 

Harte, Fred T., Manchester 

Hayes, Thomas, Leeds 

Hiscock, T., Hawes 

Hadshead, Geo., Pendleton 

Hey, T. H., Sherburn-in-Elmet 

Hawkesbury, The Right Hon. Lord, Kirkham 

Hemsley, H. L., Headingley 

Hopper, Mr., Croft 

Holt, Fred, Leeds 

Helm, Charles, Skipton 

Hands, Thos. W., Leeds (2 copies) 

Hobson, J., Manningham 

Hewitt, Geo., Barwick-in-Elmet 

Hartley, John, Butcher, Barwick-in-Elmet 

Hargreaves, Abraham, Chapel-Allerton 

Hutton, George, Leeds 

Hobson, Mrs. A., Richmond, Surrey 

Hepworth, Joseph, Cleckheaton 

Hooper, James Davidson, Crossgates 

Hodgson. H., Bradford 

Holmes, John, Chapel-Allerton 

Higgins, Arthur, Chapel-Allerton 

Hardy, J., Leeds 

Howard, Mr., East Keswick 

Huntington, A , Gipton Terrace 

Hodgson, Ephraim, Skipton 

Hodgson, Mr., Skipton 

Holmes, Mrs. T., Shipley 

Haworth, John, & Co., Hunslet 

Hastings, Godfrey, Morton 

Holmes, Sidney, Ilkley 

Hudson, Walter, Ilkley 

Hebblethwaite, Joseph W., Boot and Shoe 
Maker, 35, Brook Street, Ilkley 

Howell, E., Liverpool 

Hartley, Joseph, Colne 

Haselgrave, Albert, Feltham, Middlesex . 

Ibbotson, Benjamin, Clarendon Hotel, Hebden, 

Ingilby, Henry D., Bart., Ripley Castle 

Inman, P., Glover and Draper, Kettlewell, 

Ingleby ; Robert, Pateley Bridge 

Inman, Henry, Tennants' Arms Hotel, Kilnsey 

Illingworth, H., Tadcaster 

Illingworth, H. E.. Leeds 

Ingham, Samuel, Barwick-in-Elmet . 

Isaacson, Rev. J., North Froberton 

Jackson, Wm., Dewsbury : 

Johnson, Edward B , West Burton 

Jackson, Albert, Dewsbury 

James, Arthur, Leeds 

Jones, Geo. Fowler, F.R.I.B.A., Malton 

Jones, William, Barwick 

Janson, F. R., Leeds 

Johnson, Harry, & Nephew, Cambridge 

Jackson, R. L., Guiseley 

Jackson, Samuel, Shadwell 

Jaques, Geo. S., Shipley 

Jarratt, F., Otley 

Kitchen, Mr., Roundhay 

Kiddle, E. F., Refreshment Rooms, Buckden, 

Kaye, Arthur Naylor, Tadcaster 
Kitching, F., Aysgarth Station 
Kendall. Welbury, Skipton 
Keyzon, J.. London 

Knowles, W. H., Studley Royal Hotel, Ripon 
Kingston, Fred H., Leeds 
Kirkwood, S., Bramley 
Knight, Fredk., Leeds 
Kershaw, P., Leeds 
Kennedy, W. & J., Hawick 
Knowles, C. H., Harrogate 
Leslie, Wm., Watch and Clock Maker, High 

Street, Boston Spa 
Lee, Edwin, Guiseley 
Lambert, James, Skipton 
Longfellow, Joseph, Ilkley 
Lofthouse, J. H., Harrogate 
Lawton, Joseph, Leeds 
Laudeker and Brown, Messrs., London 
Lambert, J. W., Settle 
Lumb, Fredk., Barwick-in-Elmet 
Leeds Institute of Science 
Layer, H. A., Leeds 
Longbottom, Wm., Bindley 
Lambert, Wm., Menston 
Lambert, J., Skirethorns 
Long, F. C.| Headingley 
Lister, F. M., Timble Great 
Lister, Ann, Timble Inn, Timble Great, near 

Lee, Mary, Skipton 
Leigh, Egerton N., Kirkstall Vicarage 
Lawson, John, Leeds 
Lawson, Fred, Otley 

Liverpool Book Company, Liverpool (2 copies; 
Lewis, James, Selkirk 
Lund, Wm., Bingley 
Lupton Bros., Burnley (7 copies) 
Mason, Mr., Leeds 


Mclnroy, Jas., Chemist, Boston Spa 

Metcalf, Robt., Old Hall Inn, Threshfield 

Moxon, J. A., Leeds 

Mortimer, B., Addingham 

Metcalfe, Geo. , Teddington, Middlesex 

Mason, Jos., Pateley Bridge 

Moore, Ralph, Skipton 

Myers, Fredk., Burnley 

Murzeen. John W., Hawes 

Milne, Miss, Ilkley 

Metcalfe, F., Leeds (3 copies) 

Miller, J. E., Leeds (3 copies) 

Morley, T. B., Leeds 

Mills, F. W., F.R.M.S., Huddersfield 

Marshall, Mrs. E., Woodman Inn, Ryther 

Miles, James, Leeds (60 copies) 

Myers, J. A., Harrogate 

Mason, C. Letch, Leeds 

Mitton, Wm., Ilkley 

Mattock, Geo., Skipton 

McGin, B., Sedbergh 

Mellor, VV., Southport 

Milne, S. M., Calverley 

Mylchreest, Mr., Thorner 

Milligan, Rev. Donald T., Fewston Vicarage 

Moore, Lewis, Leeds 

Midgley, Ernest, Bingley 

Mortimer, J , Shipley 

Marshall, A, Otley 

McKillop, Mr., Leeds 

Mclnnes, R. C, Amble 

Morphet, H., Kirkby Lonsdale 

Moore, W., Hexham 

Moss, George, Leeds 

Mosley, J. J. , Leeds 

Mosley, Arthur, Leeds 

Murgatroyd, Frank, Bingley 

Massard, F. Victor, Harrogate 

Mason, J. A., Ilkley 

Newton, Wm., Bradford 

Nevison, C. E., Darlington 

Norwood, Mayor W., Wakefield 

Northrop, J., Shipley 

Newbould, Jane, Appletreewick 

North, Joseph, Leeds 

Nokes, E. S., Leeds 

Nokes, A. S., Leeds 

Newton, J. A., Ilkley 

Newby, Mr., Linton, Leeds 

Nettleton, James, Draper and Clothier, Bridge 

St., Tadcaster 
Newbould, J. M., Manningham 
Nettleton, II., Leeds 
Neal, J. W., East Keswick 
Newstead, Edgar, Otley 
Nussey. Thos., Thorner 
Owen, C. W., Walham Green, S.W. 
Outterside, Thos., Butcher, 6, Boiling Road, 

Ben Rhydding 

Outhwaite, Elijah, Roundhay 

Oldroyd, Mr., Leeds 

Potts, Mr., Leeds 

Parkinson, Mr., North Otterington Vicarage 

Pittaway, Thomas C, Grassington 

Popplewell, J. B., Bradford 

Parsons, W., Horsforth 

Patchett, Alfred, Southport 

Powell, Francis, Bradford 

Peel, Joseph Hodgson, Pudsey 

Phillips, W., Church Fenton 

Pickles, Herbert, Burley-in-Wharfedale 

Pollitt, W. O., Chemist and Druggist, 106, 

Woodhouse Lane, Leeds 
Patchett, Alfred, Birkdale 
Page, Wm., Leeds 
Precious, E., Wakefield 
Peel, Mrs. John, Frankland Arms Hotel, 

Phillips, Rev. Walter, Sherburn-in-Elmet 
Popplestone, W., Shipley 
Phillip, Son and Nephew, Liverpool (12 copies 
Peirse, Harry, Leeds 

Pitcher, W. N. & Co., Manchester (12 copies) 
Pullan, Walter, Leeds 
Robinson, Miss, Kettlewell 
Robinson, Mr., Moorlands Hydro, Ilkley 
Roundell, Chas. S., Nantwich 
Ryder, Mr., Crossgates 
Rowley, B.,' Leeds 
Robinson, Robert, Wetherby 
Rothera, H. T., Bradford 
Rogers, Arthur W., Tadcaster 
Rogers, W. E., Tadcaster 
Rennison, A. V., Ilkley 
Richardson, Arthur, Art Dealer, Scott Street, 

Richardson, E., Stationer, 100, Main Street, 

Raw, Joseph, Kettlewell 
Richmond, Thos., Leeds 
Riddiough, J. T., Frizinghall 
Roundell, C. S , Nantwich 
Robinson, Mr , Headingley 
Reynard, Wm., Harrogate 
Rose, H. J., Ilkley 
Roe, Clarence II., Roundhay 
Rishworth, T., Steeton-in-Craven 
Rhodes, J., Leeds 
Rushworth, F., Church Fenton 
Rowley, Walter, F.S.A., Meanwood 
Ridsdale, J. W., Leeds 
Roberts, Mr., Leeds (2 copies) 
Ryder, Mr , Leeds 
Rhodes, Alderman J., Sherburn 
Roberts, Mr., Leeds 
Rayner, A. II., Leeds 
Robinson, Tom J., Bradford 
Riddiough, J. T., Frizinghall 


Rishworth, T., Steeton 

Richardson, J. H., Bradford 

Richardson, G., Fine Art Dealer, 10, Briggate, 

Reed, Geo., Penrith 
Rigg, Alfred, Bradford 
Richardson, Charles, Scholes 
Ryder, C. F., Scarcroft 
Simpson, H. P., Pateley Bridge 
Shipley, Matthew, Grassington 
Smith, Fred R., Keighley 
Smith, W. H., Bingley 
Skirrow, Fred., Keighley 
Seymour, W., Bonsall, nr. Matlock Bath 
Swann, Fred, Ilkley 
Skelton, Geo., Cab Proprietor, 9, Bolton 

Bridge Road, Ilkley 
Scott, Wm., Ilkley 
Smith, S., Ilkley 
Shaw, Jas. W., Guiseley 
Siddall, Chas., Otley 
Scott, J., Leeds 
Sharp, S. T., Micklethwaite 
Smith, R. J., Leeds 
Selkirk, Jas., Boston Spa 
Sykes, G. M., Boston Spa 
Shuttle worth, J., Ilkley (6 copies) 
Scriven, J. E., M.R.C.V.S., Londesboro' 

Hotel, Tadcaster 
Stuart, Geo., Boston Spa 
Stewart, W. H., Sandal 
Smith, S. P., Leeds 
Scriven, C, Leeds 
Smith, M., Dewsbury 
Smith, Samuel, Sheffield (6 copies) 
Simpson, Edward, Aberford 
Smith, Emil B., Kippax 
Scott, T., Harrogate 
scrimshaw, F., Leeds 
Scholefield, R , Leeds 
Sandland, R. D., Leeds 
Stainthorpe, Mr., Scholeston 
Scott, John, Skipton-in-Craven 
Singleton, Jas., Leeds 
Sugden, Mr., Leeds 
Schofield, E., Leeds 
Sharp, Alice, Thorp 
Staines, Joseph, Leeds 
Scott, J., Leeds 
Sutton, A., Leeds 
smith, Mark, Alnwick 
Sutton, Albert, Manchester (6 copies) 
Sherratt& Hughes, Messrs., Manchester (7 copies) 
Symington, Mr., Harrogate 
romlinson, M., Tadcaster 
raylor, T., Otley 
raylor, Rev. R., Richmond 
ridswell, A., Sherburn-in-Elmet 
furner, Benj., M.S. A., Barnsley 

Terry, Percival, M.A., Retford 

Twiddle, T. M., Collingham Bridge 

Tutin, T., Leeds 

Tomlinson, Mr., Ilkley 

Tattersall, C , Linton, Skipton 

Taylor, W., Leeds 

Thornton, John, Bingley 

Teardley, M , Tadcaster 

Townend, Walter, Bradford 

Taylor, Rev. V., B.A., Richmond 

Tutin, T., Leeds 

Thackray, Charles, Seacroft 

Thompson, Samuel, Leeds 

Turner, T., Bradford 

Tordoff, W., Bradford 

Town, Samuel, Bingley 

Tattersall, Mr., Nelson 

Usher, Robert, Silsden 

Veitch,J. G., Kippax 

Vickers, T. R., Ilkley 

Vollans, A., Collingham Bridge 

Varley ; Thos. II., Addingham 

Vincent, Matson, Gt. Ouseburn Vicarage 

Wright, James, Keighley 

Wilkinson, Chas. W., Leeds 

Wild, Fredk., Bradford 

Wright, A. O., Ripon 

Walker, R. P., Barnsley 

Whitham, Thomas, Bramhope 

Wilson, J. H., J. P., Harrogate 

Wilson, Chas. A., Leeds 

Wellish, Douglas, Headingley 

Wilkinson, F., Bingley 

Witham, H., M.D., Boston Spa 

Wilson, J., Wetherby 

Winter, G. Dawson, Boston Spa 

Wilkinson, Wm., Bishop Auckland 

Whitehead, James, Knaresborough 

Wood, Edward, Bingley 

Worfolk, G. W., Chemist, Brook St., Ilkley 

West, Matthew, Bingley 

Wilkinson, W., Leeds 

Wilkinson, F., Bingley 

Whitaker, Frank, Bolton Abbey 

Wiseman, A., Appletreewick 

Walton, G. F., Hatter and Hosier, 2, New 

Market St., Skipton 
Wray, Septimus, Pleasure Gardens, Ilkley 
Whitam, W., Bingley 
Whittaker, Wm. Ellis, Boot Maker, School 

Bridge, Addingham 
Walbank, P. O., Bingley 
Wright, T., Ilkley 
White, Mrs. E., Skipton 
Weatherell, Wm., Esq. 
Wood, Butler, Bradford 
Walker, R. W., Appletreewick 
Winten, George, Bingley 
Watson, Thomas, Leeds 


West, H. Ci Harevvood 
Wildman, Henry, 30, High St., Skipton 
Wilkinson, Peter, Dacre Banks 
Walker, H., Leeds (6 copies) 
Wainwright, Mrs., Barwick-in-Elmet 
Wilkinson, Emily, Barwick-in-Elmet 
Ward, George, Headingley 
Wurtzburg, J. H., Leeds 
Whitwell, J., Leeds 
Wolfenden, J. P., Keighley 

Wood, Councillor Geo., Roundhay 

Wood, C. S., Leeds 

Walker, Thos., Midland Printing Works, 

Charles St., Shipley 
West. George S., Lancaster 
Waites, R. U., Lightcliffe 
Yates, Joseph, Tadcaster 
Young, Wm., Aberford 
Young, Smithson, Bramley 
Yarborough, C. Cooke, Headingley 




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